Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The light was beautiful this afternoon -- golden, blinding in the rearview mirror as I headed east. I know this stretch of Interstate 40 so well. I know which gas station is the best on every exit. I know where to avoid the fast food fries. I've driven this stretch of highway a million times.

I had just got down the mountain, the one that forms this physical and mental barrier between western North Carolina and the rest of the state that stretches itself out like a cat purring to the sea. Down that mountain and I felt myself leaving.

Outside of Morganton, I followed the curve to the left. I was daydreaming, about what I don't remember. I was listening to the radio when I saw this flock of birds -- hundreds of the them, so many that the sky was darkened -- just as the announcer slid into a twang, a strum, a hum. Country, but not. Alternative, but not as flippant. The birds floated like a bubble over the fields next to the interstate. The dipped and swirled and veered. And I suddenly felt homesick for Kathryn. Kathryn, are you reading this? I wanted to call you so badly right then. I wanted to stop by your house in Greensboro and listen to records and pet Buddy and listen to your stories. Hey, friend! I miss you!


Kathryn Frances Walker said...

holy shit, man. i miss you too.

things are hard here.

i've been telling myself to call you.

weird as hell, all day yesterday i kept saying to myself you'll feel better if you call angie.


byronb said...


Frank T. Adams told me to contact you. By god I think he's right. It's weird that I should have picked this one post of yours and it's all about birds and old friends. Talk about timing. Sometimes it's all about timing.

When it comes to birds, do I have some inexplicable bird tales. In fact, just yesterday I told a flock full to an old friend of mine, Yeva, who was a bit amazed as I have been.

Which leads me to the point of why I was Googling your name in the first place. I'm most amazed of late about a momentum that is gaining -- as certain and as real as that place on I-40 you're talking about, which divides WNC from the rest of the state, from the rest of the world for that matter -- with a writing and publishing project that I've been working on for years, and which may be of interest to you, too.

By the way, over the years I've enjoyed your writings at the paper (your departure is their loss). Perhaps now you might entertain plying some of those considerable skills to a project near and dear to a growing number of fine folks. It's called The Greener Home Monthly. A standalone print version of this sustainable living and green building publication will hit the streets of Asheville and WNC this January.

Contact me if it's a topic that makes your mind and heart take flight. Visit www.thegreenerhome.com for a gander.

Byron B.