8.14.2009,9:38 PM
Over the past several weeks, when I have the luxury of letting my mind wander, I've pondered a topic that has rotated around me for many years. More appropriately, it is a part of me. Place. I think all my life I've been a nomad, in the loose definition. Not lost, but a nomad.

Lost implies that a person eventually finds, or has somewhere, a place to always return to. There's an anchor somewhere that grounds that person. Like roots of a tree in the ground; a deep connection from which forms an envelope of culture, society, values and philosophy, like the canopy of the tree. It provides shade, shelter and a sense of belonging.

But what about a rhizome? An underground stem that travels and moves every which way, sprouting up here and there, with many of the same culture and values, but more in a general sense. A geophilosophical sense. There is still a sense of belonging, but belonging to a wide expansive place. It moves. It's a nomad.

Yet, all my years in moving about -physically and academically- my nomadic tendencies have been scrutinized by sedentary people and their value judgments. While I feel as though I belong almost everywhere, even for only a brief period of time, I am expected to be from some where, and be some thing. A sedentary outlook frowns upon pluralism. I can't be from two or three places, nor can I be an authority in more than one field of science. I am expected to be a tree that never goes anywhere.

Yet I am a rhizome that moves everywhere. It is the way I think. And am. Nor do I make any apologies for that.

While working on an article on sense of place, I've learned many things about how people see their environments, how they see other people, and how they see themselves. I always knew how I see things. But had difficulties understanding how people saw things differently. I think I do now. At least, some people. And now I don't feel like I don't 'belong'. I'm just passing through. And that is what I like to do.

I hope to explore this and related concepts in the future. Feel free to chime in and offer your outlooks, or in-looks. 'Till then, I continue to work on my bike and steal precious few moments to ride once in awhile.


posted by Macrobe
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