The Practice Of Settlement, Finding A Sense Of Place with John Lane

John LaneAs a sharp observer of the natural world, John Lane spent the first half of his life roaming and writing about life on the move. In mid-life he met Betsy, married and put down roots in Spartanburg, South Carolina, surprisingly, the same place where he began his. Once he was settled he decided to learn everything he could about the place in which he now resides. He took a saucer and a pen and drew a circle on a map that represented a one-mile radius from his home, and proceeded to explore every facet of the place including the topography, history, ancient and current citizenry, and industry.  This exploration sharpened his sense of place, and serves as a model for how we might look at our own homes, terrain, and communities. When writing an essay for National Geographic’s book, Heart of a Nation, edited by Barry Lopez, Lane states this process was, “the beginning of the settling process. It was a coming to terms with things in your past and things in your place that you’ve ignored as important . . . I began to think, ‘What is it like to bore into this place that I am from?'” He shares with us the virtues and obstacles of becoming native to one place.


Program #3254 Description

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