Friday, July 23, 2010

Some notes on a planned piece of writing

Thin place---red winged blackbirds, dry kudzu, spirals of thick branch hanging from trees. Fox decal on truck. Recurrent fox theme, sighting of swiftly trotting bold dark gray fox on perpendicular road that connects back up to refuge road. I thought it was a little dog at first and called out. The fox came on and I felt a little afraid, as there had been a rabid raccoon attacking car tires that week out in Talking Rock. Tonight I found a ticket stub in ditch grass. Downed tree in yard of little gray hermit house. No sign of life. Little statue in front of house. Enigmatic stillness to that place, like a witch’s cottage in the woods. A pagan feel to it. Tumbles of firewood in yard. A man must live there but there is a feminine sensibility to the place too. Groundhog in grass up on the hill near the abandoned shacks, hard to see. Still brown marshy water. Talking of ceremony and my mom’s death and hermetic revelation of goddesses. Sun setting like water, liquid silver in clouds. A parting so that vision is freed up? Remembering phantom blues music of previous night. Restlessness. Branches in road. Thoughts of Good Friday tornado and of wild violent Monday morning dreams, of Easter and sacrifice and presence. Thinness. Portals. Exchanges. Ship’s captain exchanging self for crew in pirate escapade. What does this space mean to me? I want to write something about it. How it holds liminality. The space of running foxes. Quick flush of tail and narrow body into underbrush. What is not quite seen but felt. The need to flush it out and know it. a reconciliation between that need and letting it hide. Letting it be known in some other way. Brownness of barbed wire fence and blackberry bushes not budded yet. Thorn tree dark and fractalled against pale sky. The creak of its dangling storm damaged branch. Beautiful, haunted, lonely. Not quite fallen but not connected. Reminder of the creak of that big pine that day at the ballground pond. Termite damage, red blond wood moaning like the rafters of a house in wind. Tree not house yet but still tree, still with itself all of a piece despite the rift. Pocks and holes of missing wood where woodpeckers (?) have been.

What to take away from walk along meadow road? Robert Duncan poem Always I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow. I always want to pull everything I feel there into my arms. Even the trash, the detritus, the ugliness of shed paper and plastic by the side of the road. The cars rush down through there so fast. Once on a summer afternoon when it was very hot a couple of slow walking Latino teens. Two boys with low hanging jeans and slouches. Nonchalant nods and small waves. Sometimes a big yellow shaggy dog capering in the meadow. In summer, thistles everywhere. Dense jungle of white pinwheels of thistlefuzz and the thick blossoms, some bright pink, others more muteds, some striated pink and green and white. The air is full. In winter a mammoth made of kudzu rearing to greet what could be another mammoth but might also not be. A heron sometimes hanging out in the funky smelling marshy part of the creek…I haven’t seen it in awhile. Red winged blackbirds fly in the field and gather in that bare tree up on the hill. Ron and I kissed here that night in late November 07, right before Thanksgiving. Someone called down the hill from that big ugly new brick house to ask if we needed anything. Guarded brusque almost fearful tone in that man’s homeowner’s voice, a warning. Ron played at emerging from the spectral kudzu on the walk back. I took a picture of him in bad crepuscular light and his orange cap flowed. He had his head bowed and one knee slightly raised, braced against the wall of the little house on Manor Street that is gone now. A small herd of deer playing in field one day in May when I walked there with Ron. Deep restlessness and sadness and unease, almost always, walking along this road with him. On Halloween too. Bright and sunny. Unseasonably warm. Felt peaceful and present but shadowed too. The light was turning tall dead pine a sort of flaming auburn on road just above. Gloaming. Hang gliders. Not orange or brown enough for it to feel like autumn but the cicadas were noticeably absent. Or their voices were. In solitude it is best. Bob Holroyd trance didgeridoo song walking past the honeysuckle and smelling the sweetness, almost cloying. Vivid sunsets with the air like lemon and the smell of fertility everywhere. And those singular trees. There are some stumps in that field going back towards town that always seem like small ground mammals to me, about to move towards or away from me. First time I drove this road was in 03 and I was listening to a Joe Henry song, go with god. I told Mitch about it in an email later. There was a bull there with long tapered horns, standing still and solemn. Power. I have walked out into the meadow along that little pasture road a few times. I always feel like I am trespassing. Last time I came away with itchy legs from plodding through hillocks of weeds. Still it felt like I was walking out into the spread of something holy. I can hear voices coming down from the houses over to the left. They seem too close.

©Laura Sorrells 2010
Some rights reserved


  1. beautiful ode to liminal places, laura!

  2. thank you! so sorry it has taken me so long to respond.


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About Me

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Georgia, United States
I live at the edge of the forest in a little town in the north Georgia mountains. I teach sixth grade Language Arts and am writing a memoir of sorts about family, spirituality, and narrative. I am also exploring a possible writing project having to do with contemporary lay contemplative experience and how it might be informed by the Desert Fathers and Mothers of early Christianity. I am a relatively recent convert to Roman Catholicism and an admirer of Pope Francis, Leonardo Boff, Joan Chittister, and Richard Rohr. I'm a Lay Associate of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia. I am interested in indigenous cultures, narratives, and spirituality, especially how these can inform my spirituality as a lay contemplative. I write, read, take pictures, play around with creating ephemera from paper and cloth and other organic things. I cook, hike, watch wildlife, and collect random bits of interesting oddness, both tangible and abstract. I am a seer of smallness and a caretaker of ridiculous minutiae. If you want, e-mail me at or