The fog snuck in during the night. I went to bed with stars and woke up enclosed.
I saw Tea Obreht speak last night at Book Passage. Her latest book, Inland, A Novel, was already highly acclaimed and then Barack Obama announced it’s on his reading list, so she’s pleased, excited, and gratified.
What most struck me about her talk was her life in Yugoslavia until she was twelve years old, and then her family had to flee. When she says she is Yugoslavian by birth, people say but that country no longer exists.
It exists for her.
I went to the event with a friend who teaches poetry to middle schoolers. She’s hoping to get a little more bite into their poems this year so is thinking of asking them to write about the landscape of where they live. It’s beautiful here, and perhaps they could delve like Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry into sharing the landscape of their home.
I’m reminded of the poem “Home” by Warsan Shire. The poem invites us to be even more grateful for where we are now, and to be open to refugees when they’re forced to come here for refuge and adapt to a landscape which then becomes their home.