Annie Proulx Essay

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I looked through the glass doors at the way too many books, my stupid little piles of river rocks, the fetishes from Mexico, the Navajo mud toys.

The armed search precipitated a wholesale destruction of the lyrical.

In an age of itinerary writer-teachers, Proulx’s boomerangs back and forth across North America are exceptional.

Now she’s made a similar discovery of the wooded idyll east of Seattle.

“But ultimately, I did not belong there.” After 20 years in Wyoming—several spent building a dream home she later sold—Proulx had a similar epiphany about that state.

As she did about Vermont, and Texas, and New Mexico, and any number of places where she has lived.

They poised their rifles as we reached the house and, with quiet courtesy, asked me for permission to enter.

I stood outside in a limp noodle posture, my wildlife menagerie around me—lizards, rabbits, ravens, the bull snake that napped under the mint bushes, the flycatcher and her nest of baby birds in our eave.

One token, squishy, white doughball of liberalism who still believed that if you hated government, maybe you should do something really radical to change things, like vote.

I wondered if arms against arms created an endless spin into violence. I wondered why the FBI guys wore bulletproof vests and I did not.


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