There comes the moment, and I saw it then, when the moon goes from flat to round. For the first time it met my eyes as a globe. The word "moon" came into my mouth as though fed to me out of a silver spoon. Held in my mouth the moon became a word. It had the roundness of a Concord grape Grandpa took off his vine and gave to me to suck out of its skin and swallow whole, in Ohio.That was written by Eudora Welty in One Writer's Beginnings. The photo is of the kitchen in her Jackson, Mississippi home, where she lived until her death in 2001.
We imagine Ms. Welty knew how to cook and used her kitchen well; she writes about her mother reading to her for hours while churning butter in the kitchen. And we spotted a few places where she used a common food experience to bring a passage to life, like in the quote above. A word becomes a complete sensory experience. Can't you just feel a big grape sitting in the hollow of your tongue while you read it?
There's this, too, about Eudora and her brother Edward passing notes between their bedrooms while they were sick with measles or whooping cough:
Our devoted mother would pass them for us, after first running them in a hot oven to kill the germs. They came into our hands curled up and warm, sometimes scorched, like toast.
The image of her kitchen is by photographer Susana Raab. We saw it on Etsy, where you can buy a print of the photo. Susana has photographed several Southern writers' homes, including those of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor.
(Image: Susana Raab)