This is the first “official episode, complete with show notes and a cohost, Jess Graieg-Morrison! Please bear with us as we get used to the idea of recording ourselves.
This week we are talking about the idea of “place,” specifically how the location we live our lives influences us, whether we are aware of it or not. Jess and I share how moving away from our respective homes helped us understand better how those places influence our ways of thinking and our identities. We use Wendell Berry as a conversation partner and learn from him as we read his words about being in a place, investing in the place, and knowing the place.
Questions to consider…
How do you feel that your physical location in the world, at this time in your life, is pushing back on you—changing you in some way?
Does where you live feel like home?
Do you plan on staying put? Are you being called to stay put, even though it’s hard?
How have you made an effort to invest in your community and your neighborhood (whether you are staying put or not)?
How do you know when the call to move somewhere else is really a call from God?
Do you know your neighbors (people, flora, fauna)?
All the Links
Jess and I talk a lot about Regent College because that is where we met and became friends, and because it is such an amazing school! Check it out—classes for everybody in the summer, audio classes to download online, something for everyone!
“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
Dorothea Mackeller, poet
“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”
Sabbath Poems 2007: VI
Belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are
Your neighbors in it: the old man, sick and poor,
Who comes like a heron to fish in the creek,
And the fish in the creek, and the heron who manlike
Fishes for the fish in the creek, and the birds who sing
In the trees in the silence of the fisherman
And the heron, and the trees that keep the land
They stand upon as we too must keep it, or die.
This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power
Or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful
when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy
when they ask for your land and your work.
Answer with knowledge of the others who are here
And how to be here with them. By this knowledge
Make the sense you need to make. By it stand
In the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.
(from Wendell Berry, This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New, 1979-2013, Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2013, 305.)