On the subject of identity, Rich is exemplary. the best advice I received from her prose comes from an essay called “Notes Toward a Politics of Location.” As she discusses the attempt to try to find a sense of place in a world of globalisation, conflict and ever-changing boundaries Rich states:
“Begin, though, not with a continent or a country or a house, but with the geography closest in – the body.”
Across the curve of the earth, there are women getting up before dawn, in the blackness before the point of light, in the twilight before sunrise; there are women rising earlier than men and children to break the ice, to start the stone, to put up the pap, the coffee, the rice, to iron the pants, to braid the hair,to pull the day's water up from the well, to boil water for tea, to wash the children for school, to pull the vegetables and start the walk to market, to run to catch the bus for the work that is paid. I dont't know when most women sleep. In big cities at dawn women are traveling home after cleaning offices all night, or waxing the halls of hospitals, or sitting up with the old and sick and frightened at the hour when death is supposed to do its work.