I note by my last post’s date than I’m a tad out of date, or perhaps out of time, in the sense that half a year trundled past and I hardly noticed. I also note mid-June was about the time my life changed–again–and I suppose I’ve spent the intervening seven months grieving the old and accepting the new. As Nando Parrado says, “There are rules and realities that will not change to suit your needs” (see the Cannibalism post). Damn.
I’m hoping to be a tad more occasional (does that mean I’ll post more often or less?) with the blog and, to finish, finally, my last post, I include the second fabulous postcard, from Utah State graduate student Tori Edwards, below. What a delightful young woman! I had been talking, if you recall, about postcards from the unknown. About how writing can have influence and meaning beyond what we intend while sitting at our desks in the middle of nowhere and the midst of everything.
“I’m the Utah State grad student who contacted you about an interview for my thesis. I’m getting a better idea of Rockville’s sense of place and of community. What started my research was your statement in Zion Canyon: A Storied Land:
I can only acquaint you with the conversation I’ve been having with this place for the last twenty years or so, and I can only use the language I have, inadequate though it may be. I carry a slight accent. Those from here can tell I’m not, but they can also tell that after all these years, I am now of here” (p. 9).
“I’ve been so intrigued by that statement, “I am now of here.” My research in Rockville has been trying to come up with the answer to the question, What does it mean to be of somewhere? And more specifically, What does it mean to be of Rockville? In reading Wallace Stegner and Terry Tempest Williams, I’ve come to better understand what a sense of place is, and what meaning people attach to living in the desert. Rockville has been a wonderful place to discover sense of place, especially where it’s faced with so many things like traffic and crowds of people moving through to visit Zion. I’ve been intrigued by how Rockville manages to keep its sense of a rural community in the face of such challenges.”
Wow. I’m speechless.