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maining in their own areas. The majority of us who have returned would dispute Thomas Wolfe's claim that you cannot go home again. He was wrong in saying that there is no road back, for we have found it. Many of us have come home, and we are staying. What can dislodge us now? We are as deep as these mountains, we are as sure as these arduous seasons. We will not be moved, for we treasure something which cannot be lost so long as we remain—an emotional recognition of the past, a rational awareness of tragic but inevitable transition, and a traditional acceptance of that harsher future which surely awaits us when we stay. What we make of ourselves and our future in our own places, belonging to this land which receives us with dark colors of moody calm, Staying & Leaving by CHARLES COUNTS My story would be quite different from Rubynelle's. There is a unity in our thinking and feeling, but each of us approaches "REALITY" in a different way, ESPECIALLY in writing. I can express ideas and feeling—but my main effort has been concentrated in finding FORM beyond shape in clay. And as a craftsman the very thought of not writing well doesn't allow me the TIME of involvement required to master essence. I am, however, overwhelmed with Uie idea of writing on this subject because I have been occupied with the question consciously now for over twenty years, unconsciously perhaps forty. will be made from our undemanding love of the land itself. For it is to the land, and not always to the people, that we return. If we forge ourselves as the new people of that land until eventually we are the old, the unchanging face of the land will be, all around us, what we have always loved. Drawn into the face of that land by strength of our own loyalty and respect for its antique beauty and understanding of its implications of dark forbearance, we make our ways back into its heart, and the land receives us without acknowledgement, knowing that we are where we always were, having never really for a moment departed from its sure and secret place inside ourselves. 41 I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and what is now a memory of HOME for me was considered "no-home" in the midst of growing-up. The idea of home was not my place of birth, Lynch, Kentucky in Harlan County (named for a man, but bom of a spirit") but the home my parents traveled from in Washington County, Virginia. "Going Home" was going there, places I never much really inhabited except in the stubbornly persistent thought back there. Oak Ridge is a symbol. A study of temporariness, plunked down quickly with engineering efficiency and technological expediency. We all swarmed there (75,000) in the early 1940's to work on the Manhattan Project. We rode on Army-drab buses for a nickel with the words Clinton Engineer Works stenciled in white paint. I felt this abrupt sense of change. My experience in Oak Ridge was future shock remembered. The idea of frugality could not link up. The Corps of Engineers were building wooden plank sidewalks where people didn't need them. It was amazingly fascinating and involving and absolutely beyond any concept of "Reality" that I had previously experienced. My friends might have been from Bell County, Kentucky, or Washington, D.C.— maybe even New York or Los Alamos, New Mexico. We were all there. I remember the newspaper headlines about President Truman's decision to drop the Atomic Bomb. Somehow there was a spiritual atmosphere of justification afloat in the town. The city of change took on international importance and that IDENTITY (so abstractly defined ) became my mythical and mysterious concept of home. My whole concept of Appalachia was aroused by Berea College comparisons as we were drowned in "scientific-method", academics, and humanitarian concerns about people, their culture and their art. Rural things were a part of my inheritance and a strong force I experienced only indirectly. The fantastic sweep of the Cumberland Mountains , however, were constant environmental persistent reminders...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5081
Print ISSN
0363-2318
Pages
pp. 41-45
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-08
Open Access
No
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