Writing about home or sense of place isn't always about rosey sunsets and flowers in bloom.
Sometimes, I feel downright defensive and protective of my place.
For me, at the heart of writing about sense of place is writing about relationships.
I think of the Lakota prayer "All my relations" Mitakuye Oyasin.
We are all related.
I am rooted in place with the human relationships for sure. The most powerful relationship I have with this land is that I was able to come by it from my parent's inheritance. I am attached to it as it was a gift of my parents to me.
I am related to so much more. I mean I feel related the limestone bedrock and even the ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) clinging to the crowns of the Live oak. This plant is not a moss, but an epiphyte with flowers and seeds. A member of the bromeliad family (like the pineapple), it is also known as an "air plant" that attaches itself with pseudo-roots.
Bromeliads are ancient in the scheme of things. They make me think of prehistoric times when Central Texas was a great sea. It was after the Jurassic era, the Cretaceous period, when so many of the caves were formed here.
This is the same geological time period in which most of the oil reserves are found. Oil and gas.
I love paradox and here is one. In evolutionary theory, homo sapiens evolved from the sea. The seas from which the bedrock of Texas are made. Tons of sediment settled and formed the fossils I sit upon in my backyard today.
It is the other gift from this ancient period that so impacts our lives today. Peak Oil. Oil.
To follow my thread of thought here...I am going somewhere with this, I promise.
My roots in place here started in Austin with a group of people who united to make an impact in our community some 30 yrs ago. We were The Mobe. Mobilization for Survival. We protested Nukes, unfair labor practices and generally learned alot about social consciousness. Our alliances with the Friends or Quakers in Austin were strong. I remember Martin Sheen attending Duncan Earl's slide show on Guatemalan refugees that I was videotaping for Austin Community Television. I was so intent on the subject matter of Guatemalan issues, I didn't seize the moment to interview Martin Sheen with the camera I had.
Some of the people I knew then have resurfaced on Facebook, but one friend has never swayed from his committment. T. Paul Robbins has been publishing the Environmental Directory for as long as I can remember.
I helped proof this 2006 Edition.
I wish more people had his dedication. I share the results of his work here.
Energy and the Environment
1. Petrolistan -
Oil & War
2. Fire on Ice -
Liquefied Natural Gas
3. Ten Things People Can
Do To Use Clean Energy
4. Out of the Wilderness -
Strategies Austin Can
Take for Clean Energy
This is part of writing about place. It is writing about relationships.
It isn't always easy.
I value all my relations.