My little practice restored my faith in one crucial phrase, one crucial possibility, which I feel to this day, and that is the possibility of achieving through my body the peace that passes understanding.
The city has a way of enforcing its rules on the unwary that even the Wall Street protesters might find oppressive: a way of dressing that implies a way of being, a way of talking that depends on a certain kind of conformity—the reason, in addition to the expense of living here, that writers and artists get out.
There is nothing wrong with cities. They are occasionally beautiful, always stimulating, and as my beloved daughter-in-law, Camila, said as we were walking back last night, everyone feels at home in them—or at least in New York.
My last reading—this month—in Kentucky was for another of what I call a dear audience, at the second floor library above the police station in the little outlying town of Prospect. Years ago this was a farming community; now, it has sprouted prosperous subdivisions, green with trees and grass, strip malls, gas stations—but also a small wildlife sanctuary, in easements, and residents who still remember the value of the land.
On the train, I reclaim my original identity, to discover, visually, at least, a part of the U.S. I have never known.