Saturday, September 22, 2012

On, In, and Around Mondays: Waiting for Anne O'Sullivan

Emily Dickinson House


The house, yellow with green shutters. The porch, in sun and shadow. The spirit of Emily, somewhere. I had hoped to see the inside, to touch the walls and feel the floors under my feet.

"Is there a tour?" asks a slight, warm woman in a white shirt. She's peering through the screen door; she's hoping too.

"It's closed," I say.

And we are both disappointed.

Until Anne O'Sullivan begins to speak.

I discover she is an actress who has played The Belle of Amherst. I discover the spirit of Emily Dickinson, as felt in the body and mind of this here-and-now woman.

Actress Anne O'Sullivan

We talk for a long time, and I find an Emily I never would have otherwise found. I find, too, that the Emily I came to see is buried somewhere nearby.

Emily Dickinson Tombstone

I would not have known about the cemetery, but for Anne O'Sullivan. Nor would I have known that the nearby Amherst College had one of only two replicas of the latest possible daguerreotypes of Dickinson.

LL and Emily Dickinson Daguerrotype

Closed is a hard thing. We think we've missed what we came for. But sometimes it is exactly what is needed as we wait, unawares, for Anne O'Sullivan.

Emily Dickinson Called Back

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 Debra said...

I saw The Belle of Amherst some time ago and that is one powerful play. It captures the spirit of Emily Dickinson like something else could. Often I’ve wanted to take a trip to Amherst and visit her birthplace. But to become acquainted with Anne O’Sullivan would be the next best thing. Lucky you! Great photos! Jealous!

2:56 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Wonderful story! I have my theories about Emily Dickinson, which I recently put into a short story ... I would love to visit her house one day, open or shut. To walk the ground she walked, see the same sky.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Jody Lee Collins said...

Laura thanks for this beautiful share. I'd imagined Emily's house looking different--I don't know--how? Not sure.
How seredipitous to meet Anne O'Sullivan as part of the visit...lucky you.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I gave a lecture on Emily last Thursday. She is one of my favorite poets. Great post!

2:35 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Blessings in disguise are always a delight! Thanks for sharing and hosting!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Joe Pote said...

What a wonderful story!

Disappointment is often followed by the realization that God's plans are better than mine.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Camp said...

Beautiful how you encourage us to trust the beauty that awaits, if we are open to be present to it. Thank you.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Laurie Collett said...

Fascinating post! What a lovely glimpse into Emily's life. Thanks for hosting, & God bless!

3:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's always fun when we have unexpected blessings! Thanks for sharing and hosting the Link-up!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

Closed. Until something maybe better opens. I'd like to breathe me a little Emily air. (I so wish I was seeing you in a couple days!)

9:48 AM  

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