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February 7, 2012 Porch stories
Feb 072012

I can’t find his name now—which seems fitting—but he used to have a blog called “Sorry I Haven’t Written”: a collection of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious excuses you find on people’s blogs…but naturally, he gave up writing it. Please excuse me for not making excuses. I’m happy to be back.

I was happy to be back in Louisiana last week, working with Wilson Savoy on editing our film for the Old Doors/New Worlds project CD/DVD. I’m happy to be back in the world of having a new release coming soon, after a long spell without one. I’m happy to be back home for the month of February, watching forsythia and daffodils dance with frost (although the frost has been rare!).

Carson Reiners, a beautiful contemporary dancer with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work, tells me that the back is the most expressive part of the body. A friend tells me he’s loosening the bricks in his lower back with yoga, and another is learning to think like a trumpet as she backs up a jazz singer with her violin.

In Kentucky, Backlick Road is a name and a neighborhood I’ve always liked. “Lick,” in case you don’t know, is a Kentucky word for creek. Which takes me back in memory to sitting on a porch with Cratis Williams, the wonderful storyteller and scholar of Appalachian dialect, who illustrated the mountain states’ predilection for prepositions with the sentence, “Come on out up from [back] down in under there.” Good advice for anyone, I think.

One summer when I was young, I told a wiser friend that I felt I was moving backwards rather than forward in…my fiddle technique? my emotional intelligence? who knows…but I do remember his answer, in the form of a joke:

“Mister, your hat’s on backwards.”

“How do you know which way I’m going?”

Whichever way you’re going, and whether or not you see your shadow on the way there, may your winter ease into spring.

Porch time soon.

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