Art Chowder May | June 2017, Issue 9 - Page 30

J O N AT H A N J O H N S O N JonAthan By Karen Mobley JOHNSON Johnson frames his life and work, “ I h ave t h r e e l ive s t h a t I m i g r a t e b e t we e n : my l i f e a t E W U ; a l i f e b a c k i n m y w i f e ’s h o m e t o w n in Marquette, Michigan—which I’ve also adopt- ed, since moving there at age 16; and a life for a c o u p l e w e e k s a y e a r, w i t h m y S c o t t i s h r e l a t i v e s i n m y a n c e s t r a l l i t t l e v i l l a g e o f G l e n e l g .” “ I c a m e to w r i t i n g a s a way to t r a n s p o r t mys e l f t o m y g r a n d p a r e n t ’s f a r m n e a r S a n d p o i n t , I d a - ho. I spent time there in the summer—bucking h a y, c u t t i n g f i r e w o o d , d r i v i n g t h e o l d t r u c k — b u t lived the rest of the year in student-family apart- m e n t s i n o t h e r p a r t s o f t h e c o u n t r y. I w a s p e r - petually longing for this idyllic place and found t h at I c o u ld m o re v iv i dly i n h ab i t i t i n my i m a g - i n a t i o n , i f I u s e d l a n g u a g e . N o w, I s t i l l u s e l a n - g u a ge to t r ave l i m a g i n a t ive ly b e t we e n p l a c e s t h a t I love and long for—the Idaho farm, still, wher