Who Do You Think You Are?

You see, the snappy sidebars common to many blogs—favorite piece of music, pet peeve, simply won’t work for me. There is very little in life that doesn’t interest me. My whole-hearted, lifelong pursuits are my writing, the natural world and my cherished family.

That said, I need to add that I also play the piano, take pleasure in studying music and art, garden, weave, spin, quilt, knit, read deeply and quixotically, and take pleasure in making bread with my own hands.

The disadvantages of this style of life are pointed out to me frequently. And even I admit that I master none of these passions. What drives me is a fervent, unrelenting need to know. How does it feel to execute a storm of arpeggios? Could I make a quilt of leaves? What will the light look like if we place a window here? How did Blake keep going? What if I could make lace intuitively, instead of from a pattern? Pattern is important to me, a dancing edge that teases me ever on. What colors could I use to paint an image of the tiny species tulip of ripe yellow, softly streaked with red? Could I draw Johnny Crow as he struts across the yard—maybe with sooty black charcoal? On and on. It’s all of a piece to me. Sadly, I’ll never have the satisfaction of playing the Beethoven sonata accurately, and unfinished attempts to see how something works litter my space, and probably my mind.

Aging is a reckoning time. “You should be slowing down,” friends warn me. Serenity is important to me.  “But all this cross-pollination is what fertilizes my mind. The truth is, I’m nowhere near cutting back, and there is much in my life I’d gladly share with you.

About Peri McQuay

Peri Phillips McQuay is the author of Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home, The View From Foley Mountain, a book of nature meditations on her experiences living for 30 years at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area and A Wing in the Door: Life With a Red-tailed Hawk is the story of her adventures with Merak, a human-imprinted hawk, who lived free but saw McQuay and her family as her special people. Also Peri has written numerous essays, articles, book reviews and a weekly column, published in the Kingston Whig-Standard Magazine. Her credits include Country Journal, Harrowsmith, Bird Watcher’s Digest, The Snowy Egret, Seasons, The Fiddlehead, Herizons and Brick.
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