Have I mentioned that I’m moving across the country? I’m exchanging the Appalachian Mountains for the Rockies, and saying goodbye to everything I love about Appalachia and the American Southeast:
Me, 1989 or 1990
I started this blog when I was farming in the heartland of Virginia last summer. I wanted to reconcile my passion for place– that real, earthy spot where you stand –with the global networks of the internet. I posted about things like strawberry rhubarb crisps, eating disorders and farming, and handsome farmers (see #5). I wanted to post all my art in one place, and prove that “rural” doesn’t mean “lacking in culture.”
I admit that, during the school year, I forgot my focus on rural politics and got caught up in art supplies. But I still saw those things as connected: binding my own books connects me to generations of Appalachians who made their own clothing, furniture, and instruments. And even if I was no longer living next to the old plantation slave quarters, I still focused on race through my studies, posts, and in my life. Sure, I had some difficulty readjusting to a liberal arts school where most of my peers were from the urban centers on the coasts– but the main themes of my life (and of this blog) remained the same:
Self-Sufficiency (D-I-Y. Crafting. Creating. Energy independence. Independent women. Growing your own food.)
Rurality (Community. Music on porches. Real-life interactions).
Agriculture (Dirt. Dark soil. Sweaty bandanas. Staking tomatoes.)
Art and Design (Art supplies. Meditative safety. Blank pages. Flex nibs. Watercolor.)
Literature (Everywhere. All the time. The story of each life. The collective story of all lives.)
Politics (Being a woman. Being white. Being Southern. Being Appalachian. Being educated.)
Poetry (Powerful poets. Contemporary poets. Poetry saving lives.)
And So Now…
Here I am headed toward a new climate, a new altitude, a new landscape. But I don’t think it will be forever (what ever is?). I’ll be missing a lot about this part of the country. I’ll be back.