Drawing from a Spring

Lake Macbride

Lake Macbride

LAKE MACBRIDE— Possessed of a large frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, I spend way to much time intellectualizing life instead of living it. This is not new, nor is it peculiar to me. It’s the human condition— a blessing and a curse. Memory is particularly important for a writer in that if one can’t conceptualize, writing would be impossible. Readers are important too, but that is another story.

The challenge of daily writing is to develop a story balanced between enough research and not too much. That research is in experiences new and old. For now, the source of ideas flows like a spring in an Appalachian hollow, providing a way of life for those who can tap it. One hopes the spring never runs dry.

My experience with Appalachian springs is personal. During a visit to the home place in Virginia shortly after our marriage, we visited family friends who lived a certain way in a hollow with a spring. The income they had was from watching my uncle’s four cows and tobacco fields while he was away working for an airline. The grounds and cow keepers had a government draw from a disability, which was being set aside to eventually buy farming equipment. Money was not a primary concern, although if they had it, they would spend it. So it is in Big Grove.

One might call the author a hoarder. Guilty as charged. I’m a hoarder of books and artifacts collected in diverse experiences around the U.S., Canada and parts of old Europe. The ideas about them reside within me, and that’s the true and deep reservoir of experience for writing. Often, it is research enough.

Occasionally one has to reach out for inspiration, and that’s where I land as summer ends and the fall harvest approaches. The persistent question, what’s next?

I’ve worked to create a process that sustains us over the near term, and now it’s time to produce something longer than a 500 word blog post with the process. Exactly what is an open question for the next month or so.

With consideration and review, contemplation and decision, a path forward will be mapped— toward new experiences and broader exposure of my writing.

It’s time to draw again from the spring.

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