Clutha

Clyde, Clydeh, Clydhe, Cludha. The waters rise up, envelop you, take you down. Cold at first, oh so cold, but your core temperature drops, As he makes you his own. Warm now, in his embrace, you see for the first time, the history of this place. The visions play before your eyes, Scenes of battles, scenes of peace. Lives of dear friends in a dear green place. A foreign God, a man from the south, the true tales of a tree, a bird, a fish, a bell, and the path man took to create a … [Read more...]

The Intersection of People and Place

Dizzy the Border Collie

Late last week a friend and I went out together to walk her dog. We went to Queens Park, the same park I've described here a few times before. This was the first time in a year or maybe more that I went to that park with someone. Usually I go alone, walk around a bit, and stop at one of my favourite spots to meditate. This was a social visit, and I didn't expect to have any sort of spiritual insight about it. Spirit is clever about laying in surprises when you least expect them. I thought I … [Read more...]

In Glasgow We Talk A Lot About Weather

Queen's Park in Glasgow on a rare sunny day in May 2013

Usually I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to write about long before I sit down to submit my post for the week here on Sense of Place. Not today. Instead I feel more like writing poetry or sharing a stream of consciousness description of all the thoughts in my head about this place. I'll spare you the poetry today. So, stream of consciousness it is. Last week I wrote about the lack of Spring-like weather here in Glasgow this Spring. Today is a most amazing and gorgeous day. I went … [Read more...]

Wrinkles in Space

The view looking Northward from near the flagpole at the top of the hill in Queen's Park in Glasgow.

Have you ever been to a place over and over again and then suddenly one day, you notice something that you never noticed before? Maybe it's a building that must have always been there, but it somehow never quite registered in your mind. Or maybe you look at a wall and think, "Was it that color yesterday?" and you are sure, absolutely positive, that it was some other color before. Sometimes you can ask your family or friends, and they will tell you that this thing that you just noticed is exactly … [Read more...]

The Fox in the Park

City Fox in Glasgow

Once again, I find myself in Glasgow. There's something surreal about being here this time. The first time I walked up the stairs to the apartment where I spent September to January and where I will spend the next month was strange. This is familiar home-not-home territory. Sitting in the living room now where I took that picture of the thick fogoutside in January feels a bit odd. I'm dancing with my relationship with this place that was just a mental picture before my first visit last July but … [Read more...]

Eaten by the Nothing

Fog in Glasgow

Some time in the night the clouds rolled in over Glasgow and settled down onto the land. They wrapped the city up in a blanket of grey. As early morning led on to later morning and then on to afternoon, the grey did not burn off or blow away. The city just sat there with the fog as its cover, snuggled in against the January cold. When I was young I lived within walking distance the Golden Gate where the Pacific Ocean comes in to San Francisco Bay. I would often go out on my own or with a … [Read more...]

Lessons from the river

River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland

I spent most of my young life living near the ocean. I could never imagine what it was like for people who never saw a beach in their lives, or who called the banks of a large lake "the beach". To me, the idea that a place where the waves weren't large enough to surf could be called a beach seemed silly, wrong headed, even. I grew up taking great comfort from the smell of the sea, the blanket of fog in the morning and evening, and the sounds of the waves. So, when I was 29 and found myself far … [Read more...]

Sacred Space

Stained Glass At Glasgow Cathedral

On this Christmas Day, I'd like to tell you about a place that is sacred to Christians that had a profound impact on me. This is not the only Christian sacred space that has touched me or taught me a lesson. (I'm sure I'll tell you of another come Easter.) But this place is special to me right now because it is right here in Glasgow. But I can't just tell you about the place. I have to tell you the story... Once upon a time, in July of this past year, to be precise, I came to Scotland for the … [Read more...]