TO THE ASSISTANT EDITOR:
I dislike cliches with a passion but, “Where’s the beef, Carol?” [“What’s Missing,” Carol Logie, Issue 106].
Sherwood Anderson was an author who related, through words, a feeling, a response to a situation, a release of his thoughts. He shows respect for man and woman, individually.
I read your statement as your own personal struggle with yourself. As adults, we are solely responsible for determining our own self worth and that of other individuals on Earth. You refer to being “taught to be small”; I see you as having accepted that teaching, having made the choice to believe you are small. Why we are so inclined to continually blame others for our own insecurities, is part of being human (not male or female). This is a struggle in itself; why complicate that struggle by transferring your anger at yourself (or teacher) on an unsuspecting author? I get the impression you feel the world views women as subhumans. I’ve never felt this feeling except by my own immature choice. Another example of being human.
One of the joys of literature is freedom of personal expression (which your editor allowed you with respect to your feelings). Allow me the same freedom to choose my own opinions and feelings by deciding what I will about an author’s words. It would disturb me if The Sun refrained from printing any literature due to possible, probable, or obvious sexism, or any “ism.” Being exposed to all creative thoughts expressed is how we learn. This is how we come to decide who we are, our likes and dislikes, and our decisions about how we wish to live our lives. Freedom of choice is our God-given responsibility and a wonderful gift as well. Accept the gift and use it, it will make you very strong.
P.S. My mother is a well-respected scientist, celebrating her fifty-fourth year of life. I guess no one told her she couldn’t be a scientist.
TO THE ASSISTANT EDITOR:
Yes, you’re right — but admitting pettiness doesn’t make it any better.
Instead of expressing annoyance at the roles assigned in “When We Care,” perhaps you can ignore it long enough to understand what it is that Sherwood Anderson is really saying. And then, turning anger into creativity, make a positive change by writing, expressing, the same beautiful thoughts in a non-sexist manner.
Do it, Carol. You know you can.
TO THE EDITOR:
I was glad to leave Chapel Hill for my secluded country home in Virginia. Full-up on yoga classes, natural foods, dinners at the Pyewacket restaurant, eight different massage workshops in twelve months, I was ready for cloud-skimmed mountains, bright and waving fields of pasture, brooks that spoke softly — and never above the din of traffic.
Well, I was mostly ready. How would I deal with no alternative to the quiet evenings, far-away neighbors, silence? How would it be to trade in my nights at the movies for sunsets? I thought I was brave to venture back to the wilderness — but could I really survive?
Three months later, I am happy to report that I have not, really, ever missed the classes, the concerts, the cheesecake binges. And yet, this afternoon, reading the latest issue of The Sun, I had a moment of panic. I was sitting under nodding trees, protecting me from the overzealous sun of midsummer, listening to the creek as faint background music, when I realized how lucky I was to have grabbed that last-minute subscription to The Sun before leaving. Among new peas and fresh-picked zucchini, it has been my “larger food.” It is my one touch with the World Outside, the minds of friends I’ve left behind, the Big Mind, who talks to me less out here, but whose conversations remind me of the Great Changes we are all participating in, whether we’re quietly harvesting radishes, or typing at our city desks.
Could I have come back here without my little vial of city magic, my distilled essence of all that moves and connects-me-with, all that reflects the small, sweet mind with Human Process? Wouldn’t I have been lonelier, hungrier, more restless? That essence is the only thing missing among these mountains. Yet it comes to me every month, not on the wind, but in pages of print. I think they call it “alternate source.”
Thank you for shaking up, breaking up, the ordered tranquility here with: sounds of human alarm, rejoicing, soul-searching, ponderings, laughter, thoughts on what happened after Dorothy returned to Kansas. I like to think I can take all the credit for sustaining a beautiful life in the wilderness here . . . but I’ll share it with you.