Alice Walker at Georgia Writers Museum 2023 Retreat

This exchange is taking place between a rural home-place in Mexico and the small town of Eatonton, Georgia, about twenty miles from where I was born.  I am thankful for ZOOM, though to myself I look odd, and it is difficult to see Marina Sabina, curandera extraordinare, who is hanging on the wall looking like she’s toking.  She isn’t.  In her traditional form of healing, smoke, of whatever kind, is blown over the patient in front of her.  She is venerated by Mexicans, also by me.

It has been a long time since I lived in this area of Georgia, which I loved for its pine trees and flat rock studded rivers, its deep quiet in the outback where we lived, its friendly neighbors who always felt, and acted, like kin.  There were horror stories, of course, but we were mostly shielded from them by our parents who, though poor, believed we had a right to be happy.

I never knew there was a library in Eatonton until I went back fifty years later and sat in it and saw large photos of my parents (borrowed from my sister Dr. Mamie Lee Walker’s museum – which she constructed in her home) hanging on the walls.

There was no museum like this one, dedicated to Georgia writers, in which to feel at home.  And now there is!  I am delighted to have a chance to talk to these writers.  I cannot see them, but it is a joy to me that they are there, as we study together how to pursue the curious and elusive endeavor writing is. ~aw

Vimeo Source: Georgia Writers Museum
Georgia Writers Museum celebrates Georgia’s rich literary history, inspires today’s readers and writers, and connects Georgians to the literary arts.