Friday, February 6, 2009

appalachian malady

I'd better type fast this morning as I'm expecting a call from the phone company to try to switch us from dial-up to wireless internet. Apparently there is some problem getting it in our neck of the woods though several of our neighbors have it now. I pray it works today as they couldn't make a go of it yesterday. Bring chainsaws! I wanted to shout at them. Cut down some trees! I think this is the hardest part about living here - it's so dark and wet and moldy most of the year - but the hemmed in feeling is the hardest. I like open expanses of pasture and rolling hills and fences. Breathing room.

I finished reading Clay's Quilt by Silas House yesterday. It gets boldface here because the book is that good. I was born and raised in central Kentucky - Fayette and Madison Counties - and was surprised to find that there are some startling differences between his eastern Kentucky upbringing and my own. I've never before heard the old belief that the fiddle is the devil's own instrument! I've always thought it was God's own. But I think that may be coming from his pentecostal roots. He is such a gifted writer. I prefer A Parchment of Leaves because it is more historical, but both are very good. I'm reading them out of order, I know, and still have A Coal Tattoo to go. House has a play opening in Lexington in April that looks very interesting.

The thing I liked most about Clay's Quilt was the author interview in back. He said some very author-like things that made me hungry to talk to another writer. I even found myself thinking that it would be a fine thing to be married to another writer. But I'm not sure if all that creativity would work. I'm as high-strung as an old fiddle myself at times and couldn't abide someone like me.

Anyway, House's books make me homesick. More than I already am. He might say there could be no higher compliment than that. Who was it that said "homesickness is the most common Appalachian malady"?

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