Am in rebel country, writing a book.
Came down this way two weeks ago, in a rented van carrying two Black Labs, Celtic music, a computer, some books and the excitement, as always, of getting gone.
Am in a wooden home with my friend Doug once more, near a South Carolina lake, where the geese are laying eggs and ducks waddle away from their nests in the woods, to cross quiet roads in pairs, down the bank, to freshen themselves in water.
The Celts believed in the Otherworld. The place you don't belong, but that is special and silent enough to awaken the antennae of the spirit.
About an hour away is another house, called Connemara Farms, in a place called Flat Rock, NC. It was the last home of American writer Carl Sandburg. His last location surprised me. How did that Illinois lad end up in the South?
Carl Sandburg was married to a woman who raised goats, and needed lots of land to do so. By the point in his life when he settled in North Carolina, Sandburg had the Pulitzer for his many words about Lincoln, so he wrote about honey and salt, and even more about breathing tokens, some of his best work. And he penned poems for children, and played his guitar for anyone who would listen, and would shake your hand, so one is told, no matter your nationality or color. And he was one of the first poets I ever read as a child. And I liked visiting his home, as his words helped inspire me so many years ago, as he suggested was his lot in life, to "dirty paper:"
Give me a quiet garret alone
Where I may sit for a few casual callers
And tell them ceaselessly, offhandedly,
'This is where I dirty paper.'
Thus each poet prays and dreams.
The eternal hobo asks for a quiet room
with a little paper he can dirty,
with birds who sit where he tells 'em.
Carl Sandburg, Breathing Tokens, 1978