Saturday, September 10, 2011

On, In, and Around Mondays: What's Your Geography?


"We each have a personal geography," I wrote in Rumors of Water.

I think of this today, as Sara sits at the dining room table, reading her new history book. Before reading, she looks at the pictures. That's my girl. Pictures are part of her personal geography. She's been looking closely at art since she was a little girl. She thinks in pictures, can explain the world in images. Maps are a favorite. So are diagrams.

Yesterday we went to Linsay's farm. I brought the new book along to show her, since her teapot tree and strawberries and duck eggs are part of the story I wove together. She turned the book over to get a closer look at Sonia's designs. "They look like henna!" she exclaimed. I hadn't thought of it that way, but of course they do. Sonia has seen henna designs on the hands of the women at many a family wedding. These are part of her family geography.

clover wild

Today I sit outdoors to type. My yard is wild, the grass going to seed. Honeysuckle, jewelweed, and purple clover are full with bees gathering nectar. This yard has a geography that is, for the most part, characteristic of a Northeastern yard; its plants are regional, but its wildness owes a little to my own childhood geography: I traversed fields for hours on end, feeling the freedom of bent grasses and blue skies.

You have a geography too. Personal, familial, regional. Are you letting it design your words?


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place. Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below.

If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

On In Around button

This post is also shared with Laura Boggess, for...

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Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

Wonderful, LL, just wonderful. I sat outside to write today, too. I love this time of year, all golden and wild.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous kendal said...

i walked through our vegetable garden yesterday - strawberries run amuck, grass, weeds.... early in the spring i would have bent down to work work work. but now? it's okay. let her have her way.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Corinne Cunningham said...

I just have to tell you... I finished your newest lovely book today... such beautiful simple truths! Beautiful. Love that first picture to keep in mind as I process the book.
(I haven't been writing much... but your book made me realize how much writing has been missed...)

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

I'm trying, LL. I'm trying.

I love your girls.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Patricia said...

Had to show the fun side of my back yard today... so fun! =) I am lightyears behind everyone else and just got God in the Yard and Inside Out. I am enjoying immensely... and like to see the body of work before I move to Rumors... I love anticipation!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I think about these things sometimes, how my children's geography differs from the geography of my childhood. I could walk through my hometown freely and explore. I gained independence at a young age. My children have gotten almost everywhere they need to go by car. They experienced childhood differently and it shaped them, for better or for worse. My son also inhabits a world of music which is geography I don't really understand. Much to think about here, as usual.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Eve said...

I am blessed to have you as part of my geography. I am really enjoying 'Rumors of Water'. The great day we had when you gave it to me will always be connected in my mind with the book.

4:42 PM  
Blogger a joyful noise said...

Your girl sees in pictures! That is amazing to me and wonderful too. She must be an artist!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I think your words are helping to shape up my writing geography. I know so. Have I said how much I treasure them lately? This month, I have been working with what I've got...which hasn't been much, but I am holding it close.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

I read this quote in another book by Ellen Langer, On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity, and thought of your post here. Here it is, in a section called "Authentic Art":

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." -Henry Ward Beecher

12:38 AM  

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