“According to the great wisdom traditions of the West (Christian, Jewish, Islamic), the heart is first and foremost an organ of spiritual perception. Its primary function is to look beyond the obvious, the boundaried surface of things, and see into a deeper reality… a world where meaning, insight, and clarity come together in a whole different way.” ~ Cynthia Bourgeault
It’s no secret that my favorite Kentucky writer is Gurney Norman. I remember meeting Gurney when Stealin Horses was playing what would be the first of several Christmas parties at Appalshop. That was probably 30 years ago. Several years later, when I’d stopped touring and enrolled at UK, I took my first creative writing class with Gurney. That class set my life on a different course in the most meaningful way. I’m too tired to explain it further than that right now, but suffice it to say, Gurney had a profound impact on my life. I am far from the only student throughout his 40 years of teaching who would say that. He’s been vitally important to literature and exceptional to Kentucky. I was beyond proud to see him finally inducted into the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame tonight. Nobody deserved it more. I might be a tad biased, but I’m also right. At least about Gurney.