We grew up right next to the Tennessee River, and the beauty of that going-by gave me, early on, a truer sense of the sacred. I had a place I would go to be by myself, and feel that living presence inside me. It is still there. I was, and am, a river mystic. A riparian, riverine aesthetic flows in my writing much more vitally than any Christian influence. The shining reaches are downriver, upriver, under, and spread out into the sky all at once, a definite place, and a station of awareness too.