May 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

“We forget, those of us spinning out twentieth-first-century web of global communication, how easy it once was, and still is really, to lose people. ….Somewhere along the way we lost story, and then lost it again and again, losing as well as the pleasure of hearing our own voice or someone else’s celebrate the natural rhythms and cadences of language; the confidence of telling well, of knowing how to winnow the details of a narrative until the chaff splits away and nothing but the mature, wholesome grain of scene and summary remains; the wonder of making meaning; the exquisite taste of our own native tongue.”

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Route 66 Mailboxes

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“I wonder if I am alone in a paradox: I am most at what I might call home in a place where I don’t see myself belonging.  The way I always feel in the desert, in the mountains, in the ocean, where the elements and inhabitants of the natural world do absolutely nothing to make me feel welcome,; instead these respond to my presence with an utter, though sometimes wary, indifference.  I feel opposite of this downtown in any city, where everything I see has been erected or supplied or packaged for my convenience and comfort, entertainment and diversion; where I see myself constantly, the insatiability of my human desire and selfishness, mirrored in everything, everywhere I look.” – Dawn Marano

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New Mexico Mailboxes

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“Story is an indispensable communal act of affirmation.  But it is also an act critical to human individuation, story being that against which each of us gauges who we are and are not; where we belong, and from what and whom we must depart…

Some loss is chosen; some is not, but either way, desire for home is aroused.  And from this perspective, my motel mind can be viewed as a legacy of twenty millennia or more of human migration: movement driven by glaciers; movement driven by greed.  Movement sanctioned or forbidden, imposed or voluntary.  Immigrants, emigrants, expatriates and defectors; nomads and tourists.  For every movement toward or away, whatever its motivation, something is inevitably left behind, something irrevocably altered, and something – a longing, a wanting – created.” – Dawn Marano

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Mailbox Taos Sunset

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“…in spite of dime-a-minute phone rates and Internet e-mail accounts. Continues to occur in spite of rock bottom airfares and fast cars.  Continues to occur because our bonds with people are inextricable from bonds with place, with home wherever home is.  Sever or neglect relationship with too many people and the bond to place won’t hold.  Mobility – the kind of mobility that has become commonplace when my parents were young newlyweds – means that each of us forms more relationships with people and places in a lifetime than can possibly be deepened and maintained.

I stopped writing entries in my address book in pen twenty years ago. The pages are now blurred with the graphite residue of erasures, and I’m quite sure I’ve been rubbed out many times in many address books myself.  It happens. You change addresses. You change spouses.  It seems like work to reach out and touch so many, so far away,  to explain how things are where you are, and it’s easy, so easy to stop calling, to stop writing.

And if we’re honest with ourselves, we also recognize that losing people can be a relief, strangely cleansing, even purifying.  This is the allure of mobility; this is the seduction of the motel room, of rootlessness:  the notion that we can always start over someplace else with someone else.  It’s nearly impossible to disappoint or be disappointed by people you’ve only known a little while. ” – Dawn Marano

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Colorado Mountain Road Mailboxes

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“And maybe it is this, the possibility for reinvention, that is the West’s grestest appeal, now, just as it was when the frontier was still open, when the plains became a dust bowl, when the Cold War began.  With each wave of migration, we had to reinvent the Western landscape as well:  dam, irrigate, plow and plant until the desert sustained us all, old-timers and late arrivals alike – and if it didn’t, then pave a new road, pack up the car, and move somewhere else that might.

Reinvention as in the West imagines it is dependent upon this unimpeded movement.  Movement of this kind requires space.  Lots of it. …” – Dawn Marano

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§ 2 Responses to Story.

  • Very American, mailboxes. We don’t have them in the UK.

    • southwestdesertlover says:

      Row of rural mailboxes out in the country have always inspired. Whenever I see them, I’m reminded of writing thank you notes, of long letters written on pretty stationery and care packages from home. :^)

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