On Place

I have a deep interest, perhaps passion, for place. It runs much deeper than my scholarly interest in space and place theory. And I am writing about place this morning, because for some reason I woke up with place on my mind. I mean really on my mind.

So here's my first thought: I wonder what impact time has on place. As soon as 2009 rolled around, I began making a mental list of the places I want to go to this year. In fact, on Jan. 2, I booked a vacation. I really associated my new year with new places and mentally mapped out my travel plans for the first half of the year. I am not so obsessive, though, to go beyond June. I am still open to possibilities yet to be imagined.

As soon as 2009 rolled around, my cousin who has lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for something like 25 years announced that she is going home to Newfoundland next Christmas for the first time in that many years. With 2009 barely underway, she and other family members are already planning their next New Year's Eve party in Newfoundland. Invitations are already out.

What is it, then, about time, as in a marked celebration of time, as in The New Year, that makes us want to look so forward in time and that makes us think so deeply about the place where we are and the place we feel we should be? Is time really a journey? And the bigger question is, and maybe (probably) I am overthinking this, why do we imagine ourselves to be somewhere else? I mean, it seems to be an instantaneous thing that just erupts right in the moment, as in "On my next birthday I am going to be (x place)" or "I am going to spend next Christmas (y place)."

I ask because this has been sort of a lifelong dilemma for me...this whole finding my place thing. But that particular topic, my friends, is something that will have to wait for a later post because right now I need my second cup of morning coffee.


Brandon said…
I like the notion of getting excited over the very idea of place. I haven't really thought about it much before, but in some way or another it's on my mind whenever I think about travel- which is quite a lot. There's a quote from a movie called "L'Auberge Espagnole" where he talks about exploring a city for the first time, and how after a while those unfamiliar things and people become yours because you've lived there. I like the idea that knowledge of a place makes it a part of you, in a way.

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