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Fresh food for thought served up any ol’ time by whim of Prairie Sunshine...do bookmark us and visit often. And share with your friends. And thanks for stopping by.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On the Road Again

Heading down the Interstate this morning, meeting up with writing friends for a long overdue reunion lunch. There’ll be much talk of life and juicy womanhood for we are all of a seasoned number of years and we know each other long and well.

There’ll be talk of writing too. I’ve been thinking about that quite a lot lately. The WGA writers’ strike matters for every writer, not just WGA writers. Matters for readers and viewers, too. We note who supports it. And who scabs.

Books matter. Despite the latest electronic reader, or maybe because of it, I can think of few better moments than settling deep in a cushy chair, tucked under a lap quilt this time of year, a cup of chai nearby, and the spaniels curled at my feet. In my hands, a book.

I remember missing the school bus as a kid because my nose was buried deep in a Nancy Drew suspense.

Books I read as a student resonate anew for me living through these years of the 21st Century. The book that most profoundly affected me and stayed in my heart was To Kill a Mockingbird. If we thought we’d left those times behind, we have only to look at a headline like the story I read last night in the NYTimes: “With Regrets, New Orleans is Left Behind.” Then a Mockingbird. Now, a city. It’s a sin to kill a city.

The writer I grew up with and visited America through the eyes of was John Steinbeck. The first time I walked the sidewalks of Monterey, tears shimmered and shuddered down my cheeks. Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl.

The pearls of value are not necklace strands, but the precious words of our youth, of our studies. Yet the times contextualize those words and lift them from the page to dance and haunt us. Just days ago, homeless man travels from Chicago and is found dead of hypothermia in a bus stop kiosk in Fargo. There was no room in the inns and shelters that night. The new shelter won’t be open until late January.

Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. Would they hold up in the re-reading?

Life’s too busy these days to know, but I have faith they would...too well. Meanwhile, there’s new stories to read. There’s a highway to travel. And if time permits, a slight detour into Sauk Centre. Every kid who went to school in Minnesota knows of Sinclair Lewis. And there is homage to be paid at the corner of Main Street and Sinclair Lewis Avenue. A timeworn hotel with the whispers of ghosts and a strong cup of coffee for the weary traveler who needs to push on.

For he wrote presciently in 1935 It Can’t Happen Here. And now we know It Can Happen Here. And yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd led the way and showed It Can Be Stopped.


egregious said...

You have a gift for writing, Prairie, keep up the good work and future bloggers will be writing about you.

And BOOYAH Senator Dodd for stopping this version of the FISA bill!

Love and homemade cookies,

ReneND said...

Drive careful. Testing.. I'm still having commenting trouble.

ReneND said...

Ahh, success. I'll try again later.

Prairie Sunshine said...

Thanks for stopping by, both of you.

And I did stop in Sauk Centre...have the pictures to prove it... talk about a town that epitomizes the heartland!

ReneND said...

Morning. I'm suppose to be in Vegas with Pinkie and J. But, I ended up with a raging sinus infection. I'm re-testing.

ReneND said...

OK. Comments seem to be working for me now. Later.