Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Power of Place, revisited

In a recent email "conversation," someone asked me if I ever feel "passion for a place." This prompted me to site down and think about the places where I have truly and deeply "felt" something. Indeed, I have what I can only describe as "magnet spots" in many different places. Some of these places I can logically figure out my attraction to, others are a mystery.

A bluff, deep in the woods in Denmark, near where our summer house was. The pebbly beach at Deception Pass, north end of Whidbey Island, Washington state. A particular bend in a tiny road called Croft Lane in the village of Croyde, North Devon, UK. A small roundabout with a small red brick house on the south-east side, in the Blue Ridge neighborhood of NE Seattle, WA. (don't ask, no idea, but it was for sale once-- only just under 1000 square feet). The gardens in front of the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC. Mt.Tabor Park in Portland, OR. Pike Place Market, also in Seattle-- for some reason, the feeling gets strongest the closer I get to the "Y" where Pike Place joins Western Ave. (Beats me, I don't even live in Seattle, 2000 miles away, actually) I can visualize, smell and feel each of these places, pretty much at all times. There are other places which are now gone; which I can never return to, but they still exist more vividly than the "real" places I walk every day.

The strongest feeling I can ever remember having towards a place happened the first time I drove out of Sea-Tac (Seattle) airport and headed up towards the city. I can't even begin to describe it... it was like "seeing life" for the first time. I bawled out loud at the intensity of it; like someone might do whenthey see their first tree after being locked in isolation for 30 years. This wasn't anything "pretty"-- this was a crowded "spur" freeway leading out to Interstate 5. There was absolutely NO logical reason; I was overtaken by something inside. I dunno. I just don't. But it happens every time I pass that spot.

I speculate that maybe a parallel "shadow image," "echo" or a reincarnated part of my spirit from an earlier lifetime may be connected to some of these places. This was especially true with the airport incident. I know that sounds way out in la-la land, but I can't think of it any other way.

Interestingly enough, there are also places that just never feel "right," no matter how often I go back, or how long I live there. For example, I've lived in Austin for nearly 20 years, and there is no place here that moves me to anything beyond "indifference." Florida-- have never felt comfortable there. Pretty much all of the Eastern Seaboard.

1 comment:

  1. I've always been Dorothy living among the Munchkins and longing for home. I felt the homecoming driving through the Hondo Valley of New Mexico. I feel it every time I pass through. Where circumstance makes me live has me longing to click my heels three times...


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