In the language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night after it. And above all, not a single existence, not anyone’s existence in this world.
I rode horseback three miles each way to get to high school, and in bad weather it was a problem sometimes to make my eight o’clock class on time. Like others, I often missed school to help on the farm, especially in the fall, until after harvest, and in the spring, during planting season.
When you are new at sheep-raising and your ewe has a lamb, your impulse is to stay there and help it nurse and see to it and all. After a while, you know that the best thing you can do is walk out of the barn.
When I started working, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, in that I was just wandering around, hoping that I could succeed. Then after I got a little under my belt, it took me about 25 years to feel like I knew what I was doing.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt that same kind of peace, the kind of serenity that I felt after acknowledging that maybe I was going to die of this TB.
After feminism, I suddenly realised: not everyone has to live the same way. Imagine that!
When I arrived in Laos and found young Americans living there, out of free choice, I was surprised. After only a week, I began to have a sense of the appeal of the country and its people – along with despair about its future.
Of all the wastes of human ignorance perhaps the most extravagant and costly to human growth has been the waste of the distinctive powers of womanhood after the child-bearing age.
It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself.
It was only after five years in the army, when I was having to do a very boring job in a very boring place, that I thought: ‘Why not try writing a novel?’ partly out of youthful arrogance and partly because there had been a long line of writers in my mother’s family.