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September 02, 2009

Seeking the Quiet Places

There are many things I like about encountering new and distant cultures. Just being in a different place with its climate, pace, music and sensory experiences (like smells and sounds of the streets) can approach intoxication, and I love the food around the world, but I find that what I like best are the...

...quiet places: especially the places where it seems that time has stood still - where some event - or person - or powerful historical confluence emerged- where you can feel in the air - in the atmosphere - something - but you can't pin it down. There's an ache - or an energy - there that defies definition.

There are those places that bear the weight of history and sometimes pain - Buchenwald stands out as one of these sites. And then there are the cities with a surging swirl of history around them - like London, Rome, Shanghai or Paris.

And then there are the cities - or sites - that require a bit more work to appreciate; cities like Isfahan, Iran, Putuoshan, China or even Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, USA - a major center of Puebloan culture between AD 850 and 1250.

There are many cities pulsing with promise and expansion, but sometimes we can learn much from the still points at the center.

There is much to learn - and explore - in this world of ours. We can cross many miles and glimpse back in time as we encounter what we, humans all, have done - god, evil, corrupt and creative on the face of the earth.

Everywhere we go, we will learn new things, make new friends, make mistakes and have unforgettable experiences.

As the final issue of the Whole Earth Catalog put it - "Stay hungry. Stay Foolish". And I would add, "Keep moving".

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together. We can learn as much from the past as from the present.

Let me know what it is about our world that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at September 2, 2009 12:41 PM

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