Questions about place

Mount Nebo taken from southwest of Nephi on I-80 at sunset. February 23, 2005

Is a different place different or the same as any other place? Is it the landscape or the people, choices, and memories that make a place different? Is it the moment in our mind or the point on the Earth where we stand? Does the land hold history, celebrations, rituals, and meaning?

Land holds history in its way. It bears wounds of human choices, droughts, and floods, but does the place matter? Is it the human laws, needs, and creations or does the land actually care? Does it communicate; does it have desires? Does it have rituals – meaningless actions imbedded with meaning- like humans? Or is the Earth purely functional, existing, nihilistic? Is it humans that create meaning and feeling for the Earth?

Do the rocks and mountains care that we slice them up with roads for traveling? Are they okay with human highways that stretch from coast to coast? Do the mountains love connectivity, innovation, and memories created on their skin? Or do they view humans as fleeting imbeciles, destructive parasites?

Does the Earth understand its own cycles? Does it recognize so much more in its ancient way? Or is nihilism truth? I honestly don’t know.

When the Earth drinks human blood and witnesses war and terror does it weep? Does it try to “fix” everything like humans do – driven by a desire to fix discomfort, paradox, and uncertainty? Or is the Earth old enough to embrace the fires, roads, droughts, floods, tsunamis, wars, cities, and all things that come and go over time, changing?

The world is incomprehensibly older than me. Maybe, with its wisdom, it cares enough to be. Maybe it doesn’t hate humans – maybe it holds us, kills us, changes us, and drinks us. We are part of the world. We hold it, kill it, change it, and drink it, too.

Oh yeah. We aren’t separate from the world; we are part of it all. We are the Earth. That is all we have; that is all we are. From our steel cars to our calcium filled bones – we are the Earth.

Place matters to me. The Earth holds our bones, our cities, and our creations because we have no where else to go – nothing else to be.