Monday, August 27, 2007


Every love has its landscape. This place... haunts you in its absence.
Rebecca Solnit: A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

I came across this in my moleskin, a snatch of thought from a year ago. How evenly it matches my recent reading: Healy's Islands Project, Brand's A Map to the Door of No Return. And on my computer, the scattered notes of Curtis Fowler's Waking the Poet. "Nothing is as real as place," says Healy,and whether that place is time (both limited and expanded) or whether that place is a city street in another country, the backyard of our childhood or the shape of our room as we fall asleep, it penetrates us.

Place catches us in its mesh. We see through its net; respond and react to the idleness or the activity that it engenders, the individuals who walk through it, whose memory substantiates it. And yet, the obverse is also so: we create our landscapes. It all results in a strange symbiosis.

Is it any wonder then, that when we step away from the known boundary of neighborhood and town and state and country, that we are best able to objectify? That when we are released from the comforting bonds, the known pockets and valleys of the familiar, we can see with a fresh eye and decide without the scrutiny of our own habits? Place is as much an entanglement as it is a unifying fabric. When we walk outside the knit of the known, we can begin weaving something new.

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