A Symphony of Voices
Yasmin. I enjoyed your post. Your post reminded me of some words by Rebecca Solnit about the experience of walking- here they are: “The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making. And so one aspect of the history of walking is the history of thinking made concrete — for the motions of the mind cannot be traced, but those of the feet can. “ Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (public library).
Thank you for this really interesting post. I had hoped to get to the symposium but in the end wasn’t able to. The wonderful term 'deep mapping' was new to me, and when I looked it up, I found this on the Wikipedia page: ‘BBC Radio 4 has recently undertaken several series of radio documentaries that are deep maps. These are inspired by the "sense of place" work of the Common Ground organisation.' I wondered if you knew which programmes this refers to - sounds like essential listening!
Thank you for this reminder of a wonderful event. I was lucky enough to attend and it was one of the best events of its kind I have experienced. The table of books was great, although I spent a lot! I have just finished reading Jini Reddy's Wanderland which has inspired me to put Iona and Lindisfarne on my list of places to visit at some point. I have also read Nicola Chester's brilliant On Gallows Down and will be writing a review of this for The Sociological Review. I bought Anna Fleming's Time on Rock as a birthday gift for my son (Anna kindly signed it too) and his girlfriend has subsequently bought her own copy as she enjoyed it so much (also a climber). Your clear summary of the ideas put forward at the symposium will be such a useful starting point for the next steps in my research. Thank you.
Insightful, Yasmin, and so very true. All of the above points resonated with me and the more time I spend on earth, and in this one place of my home, I begin to fully understand that connecting to place - truly connecting - takes time, maybe close to a lifetime. It comes to us in layers, through research, connection and experience. And there are so many ways to tap into these 3 points of entry. For example there are many modalities in which to obtain research, from library archives, the internet, personal interviews and graveyard walking to name a very few. And all are absolutely immersive.
Connection also comes to us in many ways - connection to others through all manner of friendships, and certainly the deep friendships developed over time and over shared memories. These particular connections are gems, giving us the feeling of extended family . Then there's the connecting to those who are new to the area, as you share your knowledge and insight of place and impart your passion of it onto others.
And then of course, there are the memories through experiences. These memories encompass every possible aspect of place that we can imagine and more, from the corporeal to the ethereal, as long as we have become open and accepting to it all. Our ability and means to connect is so multi-faceted that I know I've only scraped the surface here. But it is certainly spiritual, giving us purpose and a better understanding of ourselves, our place in the universe and in the corridor of time.