Written for: – Miz Quickly, “Whereness”
Place ought to be easy. A place stays put. It can be described, objectively, until the cows come home and not be altered a bit by all that data. If by “place” we meant no more than what’s visible and quantifiable, it would be easy.
Points in space have history and futures. They have names and populations. Associations. They are what they seem to be, too. The more people there are who perceive, the more there is to place. They are anthropomorphized. Personified. Places have personality. Needs and desires.
Think of a place. Broaden or tighten the scope of your inspection Not New York, or even Brooklyn, but a park or street or house–or vice versa. Does it make you feel warm? Excited? Depressed? Think about how much of what you know about the place is fact, and how much accrued impression. Is the place arrogant, selfish, generous, shy? How would one know? Put place under the dissecting microscope. Pull up a chair and ask it some questions. Do what works for you.
Introduce a Place
Photos of Farmer’s Market in Beaverton, Oregon
Freshly baked bread vied for space
in my head with sweet, tart berries.
Air as crisp as Honeycrisp apples.
Strollers smiled, toting baskets
of produce from local farms. In
the park-like setting, children
splashed in fountains, marketers
pulled chairs under a music tent
where live bands played everything
from rock and roll, to bluegrass.
Each farmer’s produce was their
pride. We got to know them–
whose plums were perfection
on your tongue, whose jams
were thickest with fresh fruit.
It was a happy place filled
with camaraderie, and vitality.