Love of place is not like other loves, of people or animals, artifacts, activities, causes. A loved being or thing or idea is held by us, held in our arms, in our imagination; our love casts a glow around it. But a loved place holds us, even if it exists only in memory; it causes everything within it, including ourselves, to glow. A loved place is not encompassed by our love; we are encompassed, loved, breathed into life, by it. There is little recognition or articulation of this kind of relation between self and world in modern Western thought–little attention to categories that express the way the world makes room for us as opposed to the way we act on it, impose ourselves upon it. But many of us feel this accommodation, sense that we are indeed received and feel a huge but nameless emotion in response.
Freya Mathews, from Reinhabiting Reality
Sometimes we arrive in a place (what is a place?) and we can’t tear ourselves away from it. But more often than not there is nothing special about this kind of space that we might call place.
A place is always constructed from the exterior. A place is a situation. A place is a garden. A place is an aerial, invisible labyrinth. A place is a common space, which not only belongs to people and is for people, but also opens you up to unexpected, vaster, cosmic communities. Place is that which eludes space: an architectonic drama created by an architectural decision.
(THE MYTH OF PLACE
Edward Said Reflexions on Exile “We take home and language for granted: they become nature and their underlying assumptions recede into dogma and orthodoxy. The exile knows that in a secular and contingent world. Homes are always provisional. Borders and barriers, which enclose us within the safety of familiar territory, can also become prisons, and are often defended beyond reason or necessity. Exiles cross borders, break barriers of thought and experience.”
> Keep your paragraphs short. Writing is visual—it catches the eye before it has a chance to catch the brain. Short paragraphs put air around what you write and make it look inviting, whereas a long chunk of type can discourage a reader from even starting to read.
— William Zissner
In my experience of writing, you generally start out with some overall idea that you can see fairly clearly, as if you were standing on a dock and looking at a ship on the ocean. At first you can see the entire ship, but then as you begin work you’re in the boiler room and you can’t see the ship anymore. All you can see are the pipes and the grease and the fittings of the boiler room and, you have to assume, the ship’s exterior. What you really want in an editor is someone who’s still on the dock, who can say, Hi, I’m looking at your ship, and it’s missing a bow, the front mast is crooked, and it looks to me as if your propellers are going to have to be fixed.