Now, I think I could make a good case that New Orleans and Faerie are not that different in some respects. They are both beautiful and a bit, well, sketchy; full of glamorie, charming and occasionally unseelie inhabitants, and very good musicians. They both exist on their own terms, with an independent sense of the passage of time and a peculiar etiquette. Really the biggest difference is that if you go to New Orleans, you definitely want to eat the food. [Read more…]
The Network isn’t like a Natural Spirit! It’s not like Nature. It’s not like the birds or the trees or the dirt under my feet. It’s prickly and tingly and full of electric charges. I don’t want to talk to it like that! (I squirm in my seat, adjust my sweater around me as if that will make me feel more comfortable. It doesn’t.)
“What’s unnatural about the Network?” my mentor asks.
On the way I could see elder bushes, water hyacinths, and a million wildflowers in bloom, known and unknown. I could even, at times, see the tracks of critters in the muddy ditches beside the tracks: deer, rabbits, and raccoons. I could see small towns, too: sun-bleached shotgun houses, comfortable old down-towns with brick courthouses, the utilitarian and the whimsical and the abandoned. As a friend said, it was like a tour of America’s back yard. [Read more…]
Today I am going to New Orleans, on the train. I’m conscious of the irony of talking about place while traveling, deliberately displacing myself. But the flora and landscape I can see out of my window are deeply familiar, and will remain so for hundreds of miles; ecologies are large. Human places are more constrained but are created by confluences of forces including human needs, the natural setting, and human technology as an expression of a particular location and time. [Read more…]
As I sit here listening to the ragweed and grass whisper next to a canal, I know that this has all been seen before and will be seen again. It’s not exactly the same, because we aren’t on a circle, we’re in a spiral. We’re moving along the groove in the vinyl record, and if the cycles seem like they are getting closer, that might just be because we’re getting closer to the center of the record. I don’t know. [Read more…]