Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Beginning

After 40 years of teaching, retirement seems most strange on these first warm days of the fall semester. No classes to teach, but I still walk to the college every day, and I am working with two students in a directed study, Greg and Bailey, both keenly interested in writing about the natural world. For a start, we are reading Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginning, a beautiful little work of autobiography, divided into three sections: Listening, Learning To See, Finding A Voice.

I think I learned to see at a fairly young age. It took me years of unpublished striving to find my voice. I am still learning to listen. The last line of Welty's book is a lesson I early took to heart: "As you have seen, I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."