Thursday, April 9, 2009


Her writing was oft considered somewhat strange, so it seemed only fitting that I embarked on my birthday pilgrimage to her farm just as a somewhat strange April snow was falling all around me. And I fell with it, back decades in time, to a day when this enigmatic writer lived and wrote in this white wooden farmhouse with its red tin roof and wide screened porch.
She kept a flock of fifty peacocks.
And she died too young.

Whispers of her stories are everywhere here, one can hear them on the very wind that rustles through the towering oak trees above, soft echoes caught in corners of the unchanged rooms - snippets of stories that gently point to all those colourful symbols she once used to paint her shining paragraphs. Her inspirations are still manifest everywhere I look.

Sanctification floats on the quiet waters of the pond at the bottom of the hill, grace flutters through the hundreds of white lilies that line the trail by the meadow, suffering sits with the cold metal crutches that still silently lean against her writing desk, and dark humour glints the eye of a crotchety old mule as he stares down a large, white, rather flabbergasted, dog.

My words would be inadequate to say what it means to
stand at her bedroom door; to see where she worked, where she slept, where she met the day.
I left with that memory and one perfect peacock feather.

Andalusia is the home of American writer, Flannery O'Connor.
She wrote two novels and thirty-two short stories and was the first fiction writer born in the twentieth century to have her works collected and published by the Library of America.
She died of lupus at age thirty-nine.