Terry Tempest Williams is quickly becoming the newest addition to the ranks of my favorite nature/travel writers. The water and forests of Annie Dillard, the canyonlands of Edward Abbey, and the temperate rainforests of Gary Snyder have captured my imagination previously, and Terry is doing much the same thing. Combining exquisitely detailed observations of the bird refuge near her home with the soul-wrenching personal narrative of her mother’s experience with cancer (not a battle mind you, it’s much more gracious than that), Refuge has touched me in a deeply elemental way. Plus Terry has somehow managed to significantly change my perspective on Mormonism, a challenging task I’m not certain she even took upon herself in the first place.
Good writers draw you into their narrative. Magnificent writers make you want to create your own. Terry must be the latter because I’m finding myself wanting to write, and feeling like I have a centerpoint to start from even. Ben and I are looking for a house, a place to make a home, and while it isn’t an especially glamorous, exotic, or drug-addled experience, the process and resulting contemplations feels worth sharing. And we’re only a few months in.
Stay tuned for house related tidbits, though they may be a couple of weeks in coming since I’m Westward Bound for the next couple of weeks, culminating in the wedding of a dear friend. But then the searching and pre-approval will begin in full earnestness!