Creek Running North: Deborah Tall
"No one’s about to step out of the woods and tell us what in another place would be subject of song and legend — oh whale who wandered from the sea, stalled in lake water, turned to stone...— the landscape brought to life as story. I need to learn the plot and poetry of this place, the outlines of time passing on it, in order that it not be merely scenery. But my neighbors are reticent, sedentary. They mumble and nod the rare times we pass on the road. No one, as in my rural fantasy, has come by with a welcoming plate of homemade cookies, with chat and advice, not to speak of legends. By nightfall, their houses give off the platinum glow of television. We’re left to our own devices."
After reading all of Chris’ post, I can understand some of the pain he felt on reading those words about his home and kin. But, I have too many times found myself on the other side too. The newcomer in a place with a history I don’t share, but would like to. Even wandering back to the places my ancestors once called home doesn’t give me an inherent place with those that stayed and lived the history of place. I may be trying to capture a bit of the same naïve nostalgia that seems to come across from the snippets Chris has chosen to quote.
Not having read Deborah Tall’s book, I can’t comment on it. But, the fact that Chris states he reads it annually leaves a desire to see what she had to say.
Oh well, time to get off my duff and go visit my own little piece of the American population explosion. He may not have been the 300 millionth, but he was close. Later…