Tuesday, October 13, 2009
by Christopher Cocca
I’m workshopping the first parts of Milton County Power & Light this week.
Did you know that there’s a Willa Cather Memorial Prairie in Nebraska? I didn’t know they named prairies after anyone.
“As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the colour of wine-stains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running.” – Willa Cather, My Antonia
Is your work tied to place? Mine is. Mountains, rust-belt ruins, green and yellow fields in alternating bands, small cities, little towns, Cold War suburbs. A valley. Some rivers. A beach and a sound.
One of my earliest literary memories is of my grandmother reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder to me when I was as young as 3. I remember one scene specifically about a lost doll partially frozen to the ground in a fallow cornfield puddle. I hadn’t connected these early experiences to my own vocation before, but this image, 27 years later, is vivid, and our own setting, the bi-level in Whitehall near the old cement plant.
What are your places?