I had a really interesting talk last week with Bill Greene, who came to visit our university. He studies place, which is great for me, from a different perspective than I do.
My biggest take away from the day was this concept that at times we make place static. A lot of the idea of place is socially constructed, and some of it is from our memory (either collective or individual). So this is where we based some of our discussion.
My big wondering was, how often to I make place static. If most of my deep connection to a place is from a memory is it possible that the place still exists? How can I keep an idea or memory as well as keep options open for change? What is important for us to think about when remembering a place?
My wondering about this came as I was returning to Cambodia (a special place for me). I lived there for three years, and I had strong connection to specific places in that area. Things change, especially in developing countries, and a lot of the things are no longer the same. I noticed my feelings about the place haven’t really changed, even though how I acted in those places have (mostly because some of those places don’t exist anymore). I also noticed that I didn’t want to return to some places, even though they did exist because I wasn’t acting the same way, or I wasn’t completely that person anymore? I’m not really sure but it was interesting to think about. I did love going back, I loved the weather and the animals and knowing some of where I am, but still having the ability to see how the place has changed, but maybe not my sense of place (although I am glad I left).
It’s been a long time since I wrote here, hopefully that will improve.