local to local
West of 98. I've been waiting for it since hearing Russell Rowland read the beginnings of his essay for the book. Louise Erdrich’s opening essay “Big Grass” is a love story to grass. For someone who has spent most of her life hearing the praise of trees, who once thought all factories should be in deserts or prairies because “there is nothing there,” this love of grass should be hard to understand, but it is not. “Grass is emotional,” Erdrich writes. “Its messages a visual music with rills and pauses so profound it is almost dangerous to watch.” The prairie's open expanse has so many things going on in it, but you have to look. It is both a vast sameness and a miraculous complexity. The prairie inspires what Larry Watson in another essay calls “the freedom of empty space” where there is nothing and everything.