Tennessee

Tennessee2012_7269

For instants

Here I am, all ready to write about instants of life that have us smiling lately. One teensy problem? It’s afternoon. And what good writer doesn’t abide by the excuse that no good writing happens in the afternoon. So I will just pick up that excuse, although I shouldn’t, since it is just as tantalizing as the neon-red strawberries I also shouldn’t have picked up this afternoon for $7.99. I will just say right here that the photos and words in this post will just have to abide together, even…

Tennessee2012_4117

Good things

He said I was myself again there. Something in the air there opens me up and lets me free to see and hold and feel, and then bring it all into myself. He was right. The rich, tangy singe of wood-burning on the wind welcomed us, and all weekend, the rains and mists that make mountains so mystical fell. The lodge of full, barked trunks beckoned with quilts, porches, and a warm fireplace. I’d forgotten the pleasure of quiet, dark sleep, and the magic of waking up to birdsong. What I’d waited…

Tennessee2011_1624

Of place and people

I do not know if a place makes the people, or if people make the place, but I suspect the later. Last post I celebrated the instants we spent in a rapturous place last week. Today I will not break out into any more soliloquies on life or land, but, dude, this place is so real, and I love it for that. It shows its flawed beauty unabashed. I love how humans have added to it in a way that makes sense. (Barns are one of my secret obsessions. And treehouses, but I have no pictures of those). Walker…

Tennessee2011_1788

Hurts so good

Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road . . . snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us, says Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited. Beauty has the strange power to evoke the feeling of pain; it shows us a corner of something we can't quite glimpse yet, pointing to something outside ourselves. Beauty tugs us toward an intense glory we can only…

Tennessee2011_0958

Back from the Ranch

I am in a cold airport listening to elevator music and CNN, but I am thinking about hope. This past week I felt bale upon bale of golden hope pile up in the eyes of people I love, in the heart of a valley that will always feel homey. Walker and I were back in a certain little cove tucked precisely in the Smokies, the valley full of laughs and animal calls, the smell of wood smoke and deep forest air, the splendor of blue mountains variegating into the sky---that last year was home. This…

Tennessee2011_0835

Lift my eyes up

I scurried into our cabin last night in the blackness (Tennessee gets ridic dark!) with a stomach aching from laughing. My favorite quote of the evening was from one of the girls, describing which of our wedding photos was her favorite. I love the one of you holding onto Mr. Walker's arm right after you're married, facing the church, and Miss Kelly is in the background looking sympathetic. (I burst out laughing) I mean sincere! It's been an amazing few days, and I have been sucking instants in…