At some point, you just move forward
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Talking to Those People

It was only since I returned that I understood my love for Palladian windows: the library, the courthouse, and the sheriff’s office. There’s nothing like reading in a recliner in a room full of books in front of the fireplace under tall, dignified windows.

It’s no longer the same, of course, but much has remained. The old school house stands empty, the creek meanders, morels still grow on its wooded banks, and fields smell of new-mown hay.

People want to know who I am, how I came to grow up in the middle of nowhere reading the New Yorker and listening to opera, why I wanted to return here.

Dorothy Allison wrote: “Eudora Welty says that all writers are essentially assembled by the age of 15. That by the age of fifteen, you have your material. So it doesn’t matter where you go after 15. You’re already in place. Everything that happens after puberty will just end up reflecting on everything that happened up to the end of it. And you can go to New York and you can do all kinds of things, but you will dream of the place you were when you were a girl. And will be talking to those people until you die.”

So that’s it. The conversation must continue.


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