Friday, June 28, 2002

We have been here a year.

I read recently an essay by Barry Lopez about storytelling and landscape and narrative, the gist of which is that landscape is the relationships between things on the land, and there is an interior one as well as an exterior one. The exterior one is composed of mountains, sky and sea, and the way those elements interact is the landscape. Likewise the interior one draws together elements from the interior world to create a landscape. Storytelling, Lopez says, draws together these two landscapes.

"The shape and character of those relationships in a person's thinking, I believe, are deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, what one touches, the patterns one observes in nature - the intricate history of one's life in the land, even life in the city, where wind, the chirp of birds, the line of a falling leaf are known. These thoughts are arranged, further, according to the thread of one's moral, intellectual and spiritual development. The interior landscape responds to the character and subtlety of an exterior landscape; the shape of an individual mind is affected by the land as it is the genes."

Living on an island leaves one with a natural frame to lookat narrative. Looking back over this journal from the past year, I am struck mostly that it is about observations of the exterior landscape of living on an island. But implicit in the very fact that there is even a journal at all is the fact that living on an island causes one to become much more inward looking. The boundaries that are real and topographical, the shoreline as it where, exists both within and without. One can probe the edges, biut at the end of the day one retreats to the centre. When you live on an island, you live somewhere WITHIN the island, and one's life soon mirrors that.

Living within an island, both externally and internally brings forward huge levels of creativity. One cannot rely on entertainment from the outside for long. One has to create one's culture, and this means delving deep into personal resources to draw out ways and means of expressing oneself. For me this year that has meant this blog, and several companion blogs on other subjects (see if you can find them) as well as singing, and a different kind of flute playing, making music that is as much for me as it is for anyone listening.

It's been a year of constant blossom, wonderous revealations at the interior landscape, and ongoing exploration of the nature that is here so close at hand.

Thanks for joining me.

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