London Calling: connecting with big cities

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Last week I was in London.  It was my first real visit to the city (layovers at the airport don’t count), and I was like the proverbial kid in a candy shop.  I wanted to see ALL the things, have ALL the experiences, and, probably somewhere deep in my heart, I wanted London to rub off on me.  So many British cultural icons emerged from London that the city itself has become iconic.  It represents an idea of ‘coolness’, a playground for ‘cutting-edge’ artists and cultural creatives … [Read more...]

A Forest Walk

The remains of an old building in Dalkeith Country Park

Last week I took a short, unplanned holiday to Edinburgh. I spent Wednesday in the Old City right next to Waverley Station where my train from Glasgow arrived. I enjoyed a museum visit, an art gallery, and some leisurely book store browsing. In the evening I headed to Dalkeith where I stayed Wednesday and Thursday nights, allowing me to spend Thursday and Friday hiking through the village of Dalkeith and through the forest in Dalkeith Country Park. The three days of walking around with a … [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...]

I’m a Pagan because of connection, and continuity and change

Atlanta airport. Image by Chris Yunker, used under Creative Commons License.

I've spent all day today in transit: walking, bus, tube, aeroplane. I'm currently sitting in the International terminal at Atlanta airport. "What's that got to do with why I'm a Pagan?" I hear you ask. Well, nothing, except that it's its opposite. Vehicular transport is a peculiarly human experience. No other animal, that I am aware of, creates systems for transport which involve mechanical, social and economic engineering the way that we humans do. If we accept, just for a moment, the … [Read more...]

Aliens on our own planet? What science fiction and space exploration can teach us about our sense of place.

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I’m not only a Pagan, but also a science fiction fan. I read a lot of Stargate: Atlantis fan fiction in my downtime. A frequently recurring theme in these stories is that the planet that the SGA1 team emerge onto is a small, agricultural culture, with no word, in their own language, for the planet they live on. To the SGA team, the place they arrive in is a specific spot on a planet with a specific designation. To the local people, it’s just the place where they live: their place. The … [Read more...]

Transitions

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There is a pattern that I've noticed in my travels. Often, for the last few days in a place I'm not fully there any more. Sometimes, like my recent travel from Glasgow, Scotland to Seattle, Washington, I am deeply torn about where my heart and mind and body are. And then I arrive in the new place, but parts of me take a while to catch up. When I mentioned to my friend what I was feeling, she called it "Soul lag". I find that when I first arrive in a place, it takes me days or even weeks to … [Read more...]