Terra on Writing
I have been writing one way or another throughout all of my many lives — bookish Midwestern childhood in the 60s, West-coast universities in the 70s, Japanese interlude in the 80s, golden years of New York City in the 90s.
But my writing did not find its true subject until I returned to my roots — central Illinois, my family, and the landscape that was and always will be home to me — the rolling fields, gentle streams, and infinite horizons of the Mackinaw Valley in central Illinois.
There, I knew that it was time to do what I had always wanted to do — use language to describe and explain, engage and connect, make tangible and visceral the many factors, great and small, that make up the food chain that links the American eater to the American land.
As the refrain in Howard’s End urges us, “Only connect,” and we can transform the world. If there is a theme to my writing life, it would be this — whether I am connecting people to the weekly life on the farm, to food, or to the natural world and its existential verities.