Places & Stories
Often, when we first meet someone new, one of the first questions we ask of them or are asked by them is "Where do you live?" or "Where are you from?" Knowing the location of a person gives us a reference we use to help us understand their story. For better or worse we are touched by the places we inhabit. Our senses respond to the colors, smells, shapes, temperature and light of the land we live in. Our memories and emotions are charged by the circumstances of the environment in which we experience and grow. In a deeply psychological way we become part of the place. We might remember people and events, but the background in which we knew them sets our psychological selves within a context such that a smell, a sound or the way the light falls will bring back a memory.
What motivates a person to act; to move or to stay? The circumstances of their place can give us some insight into the nature of their experience.
Our stories are organized, if you can call them organized, around places because when we tell stories about people we tend to locate them in place and time. What happened, when and where? Locating stories in a place also helps us to locate relationships in time.
We are always somewhere, where we have come from in both time and place.