December 16, 2010

Components of Place

The Tricycle Book Club is discussing Lin Jensen's Deep Down Things: The Earth in Celebration and Dismay! Look for daily excerpts from the book on the Tricycle Blog to inspire the conversation, which is happening here.

From Deep Down Things:

"

A place is more than a location. Of course, if you know the convergence of a place’s latitude and longitude, you can pinpoint its exact position on the planet. This will tell you where it’s at, but not what it is. If you want to know what a place is, you could start by recalling what it’s like to shut down your house when you’re going away for a while. Shutting down your house is a little like untangling yourself from an intricate web of relationships that you and the house have spun for yourselves during the time you’ve spent together.

Who will take your part in that relationship when you’re gone? Who but you knows all the little moves that sustain the balance you and your place have achieved with each other? Who will be there to open up the windows overnight to cool the house down and close them in the morning to shut out the summer heat? Who will feed the cat and make sure it has fresh water and take it to the veterinarian if it comes home scarred from a fight? And not only that, but who will say hi to Mary across the street when she’s out pruning her roses or backing the car out of the driveway to go shopping? And who will read the accumulating mail that’s being held at the post office in your absence?



Shutting down your house reveals the nature of place as indistinguishable from its inhabitants; you and I are every bit as much a component of “place” as are the walls of the rooms we inhabit."

Have something to say? Visit the Tricycle Community Book Club to discuss Deep Down Things!


Image: From the Flickr photostream of hortulus

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