Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vanishing Places

I carry with me the remnants of vanished places---of rolling fields where houses now crowd, of sleepy country roads where 4-lanes cut a swath. So many places, so many memories. They exist only in my mind, as ephemeral as my last breath. And yet once they were all as real and as solid as the stones that are now under my feet, and to me, they still are, at least sometimes.
It is an odd feeling, this sense that I could find my way around a world that doesn’t exist anymore. I can still smell the pines, hear the soft call of a whip-poor-will on a summer’s evening, hear the gentle low of cows meandering back to the barn at dusk. Little enough remains in the solid world anymore.

What kind of geography is this, what name shall I give to it? Is it real enough to have a name, this geography of the mind? Or has it already passed beyond the realm of named things? It is, perhaps, the geography of twilight, fading into the blackness of night, but never to reappear with the dawn.


Mabel Amber said...

I love your rumination on all the vanished places that exist in our memories. Living in Holland is particularly stressing for people who would like to keep geography in accordance with the maps in their mind.

Mabel A.

Carolyn H said...


I think once you have lived a while, everyone has seen big changes in the places around them. I imagine that even 100-200 years ago changes were much slower and/or uncommon. People didn't have as many changes around them. Now, things change every day, and I'm not sure humans are well equipped to deal with that pace.

Carolyn H.