Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Spaces for the Sacred: Place, Memory, and Identity,
Philip Sheldrake, John Hopkins/SCM, 2001, page 16-17
How do we remember? What affects our memories of place?
Landscape is not merely shaped by enclosure, agriculture, forestation or settlement. It is also named. Names give the landscape a particular meaning in relation to human memories.
Sheldrake goes on to discuss the etymology of the name of the city 'Salisbury', showing how it evolved from pre-Roman Celtic vocabulary. Have we ever thought of places as books - to be read?
It is appropriate to think of places as texts, layered with meaning. Every place has an excess of meaning beyond what can be seen or understood at any one time. This excess persistently overflows any attempt at a final definition.