Sense of place

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Sep 3 14:17:11 EDT 1999


On Fri, 03 Sep 1999 10:58:22 -0400, Nat Case wrote:

>>From: Melissa at Proffitt.com (Melissa Proffitt)
>>
>>>It's very hard to imagine living in a world where you haven't seen a map. Or
>>>where you don't think of the  land in terms of your understanding it on a
>>>map. It's very confusing and a little scary.
>>
>>Doesn't that sound a lot like life in the medieval era, with so many people
>>never really going anywhere beyond their immediate surroundings?  It would
>>be really easy to believe horrible things about people from other places
>>too...they live too far outside the world you know.

>I think it's really been true for everywhere up to the modern era, and there
>are still lots of evidences of it in all the manifestations of xenophobia.
>To bring it back to DWJ, the blessing and curse of village life, like we see
>in Aunt Maria/Black Maria, is the deep and secure knowledge of the local
>area, something us modern urban types can only glimpse at, but which can
>quickly and viciously rear up as something much darker and self-defensive
>when it feels itself threatened.

I think it happens even today.  Not exactly, of course, because there are
maps, and thanks to modern communications things that happen elsewhere are
known all over the world.  But I have met people who have lived all their
lives in one town, and they have very different attitudes than I do (and
I've never lived anywhere more than five years).  People travel more
frequently, and farther away, but then what happens to the concept of
distance when you can get somewhere by flying--essentially hopping over the
landscape rather than traveling through it?

Melissa Proffitt
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