Wednesday, January 16, 2008

sensation of place

I'm back. The folks live "way out in the country" on one side of Nashville (well, that term in the last 10 years has changed considerable, become somewhat meaningless)  and I live way out in the country (relative to some) on the other side of Nashville.  That means I have to drive through Nashville to visit them, or fetch them back and forth from the doctors. If it was all "over the river and through the woods", I am sure that my solitary drive time thoughts would travel in a poetic and productive stream, because there were some beautiful vistas to behold in Tennessee, before the white man.

But driving through the big city and the new burbs on either side, my mind gets jagged into peak oil panic type thoughts because the drive carries me through acres upon acres of newly sprouted McMansion vista's.

I try and relate, I really do. But I can not comprehend how you can live ass up against someone else in a seemingly sterile, glossy magazine, perfectly pruned, mini palace of energy intensive cloned convenience and have any "sense of place" on the planet.

A mid-western 1960s row of suburban houses (which I once thought must be hell on earth), have more character and neighborhood charm than these new landscape least they didn't pretend to be something they were not, and they did not have built in isolation and ostentation as part of their design.

But  hey, that's just me and my rant...I do love to see my Mom and Dad, and love where they live, and I get all high from that, and they remind me to be more tolerant and thankful that not everyone wants to live in the country, or, of course, their wouldn't be any (my folks are far, far better human beings than I could ever hope to be) ....But I just would like to see people buying a new house be a little more engaged in the earth it is setting upon, and in making the neighborhood something they are joining, not just holed up in in front of their screens and bathed in their sterility and sameness.

I get all calmed down at the folks, and involved in the quiet rhythm of their very real and earthbound lives, and then I have to make that return trip back through this alien landscape to get back to my neck of the woods, and time I get home, I feel like I need to "cleanse"

This afternoon when I returned, even though it was purt near dark and chilling off, I still had take a quick walk into a real landscape, and get a feeling of the dark winter earth under my feet and the smell of the wind changing direction in the holler as it does every evening when the sun drops below the ridge to the winter west.dark holler 2JPG


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