London & Tennessee


January–February 2011

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 …


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 p…


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 quickie…


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 l…


Amber waves of grain

Tizzy might be the right word for the past few days. Through New York (thanks, Dad!), a night in Jersey with lots of laundry and re-packing (thanks, Mom!), and a one-day drive down the East Coast, and then, hello Tennessee! There's not time to tell of how amazing it is to see the girls, and everyone here at the Ranch right now, but we're back in one of my favorite places ever. We wake up each morning in our cute cabin, and I spend the days in my old haunts. What I wanted to write about days ag…


London calling

Here we are in lovely London, and our days go something like this: stroll in the park, scone at a cafe, back to the park. Walk through Leichester Square, window shop in Covent Garden, and walk past and then simultaneously backtrack and look into bookshelf-walled libraries. It's a fantastic place. London is classy; you practically have to dress up to take the Underground, in which you are greeted by civility and decorum by the trademark "Please mind the gap between the train and the platform". …


Anywhere, baby.

It’s been a hodgepodgey week in the ‘drews, complete with a Jaunary clean-through of the flat and yard. Glorious. Baby, today we’re headed for the ever-classy London for several days, before flying out to the States. I won’t deny I’ve wasted time this week watching tours of Cracker Barrel and Moonshine Ridge in the anticipatory glow. I still burst into jumping up and down, clapping with jubilee. I cannot wait for the great American welcomes that always come, the wide roads and tall pines. I cann…