1st ed. - Corvallis : Oregon State University Press, 2004.
Book — 186 p. ; 22 cm.
A westward-going heart
A habit of mind
Sonata of the dwindling year
The fidelity of thieves
Sane at the mind that makes a nest
Notes on the erotic life of the household
Gathering : a calendar
The dimensions of hope
Here and now.
Having grown up amid the ravaged coalfields of Ohio, poet and writer David Axelrod felt oddly at home when, twenty years ago, he moved west and saw his first clear-cut forest. In Troubled Intimacies, Axelrod explores his life in the rural interior West, and the way in which surroundings, visible and invisible, shape our emotional and intellectual lives. In describing his life and the lives of his neighbors in eastern Oregon's Grande Ronde Valley, Axelrod raises hard questions about the relationship between humans and the western landscape--a relationship too often predicated on disastrous violence. In a series of powerful and provocative essays, he reveals the dissonance that exists between the mythical American West of perpetual expansion and reinvention, and the far more complex and troubled relations we actually experience as individuals and communities in the western U.S. In Troubled Intimacies, Axelrod addresses matters of faith, literature, and natural and human history, and shows how these pursuits shape our relationship to the larger world. In writing about everything from his uneasy apprenticeship to a legendary Montana poet and his life as a Jew in a deeply Christian town to his family's annual trips into the mountains to pick huckleberries, Axelrod shows the challenges and rewards of piecing together a meaningful life in the rural West. Troubled Intimacies records his struggles to find a home in the "wounded" western landscape, to "live here without a distracting desire for elsewhere, to feel not diminished but enriched by its wealth and variety, to achieve even a glimmer of vision or knowledge indigenous to this place.". (source: Nielsen Book Data)