I think a lot about the concept of placeness, and what differentiates one location on the planet from another, beyond what you can see. Isn’t it interesting that in certain places you can sense stories humming in undertones? And that the spaces in which we move, physically, effect our activities and emotions and aspirations in radically different ways, via so many variables: geographical location, physical and natural features, human culture, history and migration, climate, pollution, design … and many more?
Some physical places look mundane, but have witnessed horrors and can make you shiver just to enter them. Some places make you feel elated and free.
Some crowded, whirring places simultaneously press on your soul, and awaken creativity. If there is no personal space for you in the crowd, in order to survive, you might have to make psychic space and distance around you.
In addition to these physical features, it seems that each place could also be said to have a spiritual history – a history of human relationships, advancement, interactions, choices, conflicts, innovations, struggles and love.
I went the other day to Boston Symphony Hall. We saw Fidelio with the amazing Christine Brewer in the Leonore/Fidelio role. Symphony Hall really has placeness. I grew up hearing stories about music heard in that place, towering musical figures encountered in that place. The building even had a role in my parents’ marriage.
So what constitutes “placeness” for you? What locations stay with you, and why? Do these places look unassuming, or might the uninitiated be able to tell that there is something special about that place from just a glance? Are your thoughts about placeness connected to ideas about home?