I am in Anchorage, at the summer residency for UAA's MFA in creative writing program. I am here as a student. Tonight we saw a film featuring John Haines (no relation to Haines, AK.) , Alaska's most respected writer who died last winter. Here is what he had to say about life and art and place, from in an essay in his collection Living Off the Country :
"We need to be as clear as possible about the world we live in, and to have some ideas about our place in it; to understand and to accept, if necessary, the limitations that living on a finite and exhaustible planet imposes on us. Perhaps here in Alaska is an opportunity to deepen that understanding. It is another place , where we can stand and see the world and ourselves."