Thursday, March 24, 2011

New adventures: Traveling at home

With a year coming up next week, I was hoping to embark on adventures that will get me thinking about different things over the next year. I read Wendell Berry's Traveling at Home a while ago, and the concept of exactly that has very much intrigued me and affected this last year's project. It has shaped my thoughts about the at times contradictory notion of now. We want to live in the future now (1, 2, 3), yet such pining has led to incredible ecological devastation. At the same time, this past year's experiences has made me think that maybe a good way of combating ecological degradation is to let now affect our behaviour, such that the future will be a good world for everything that constitutes it. I will write more about "now" tomorrow. =) Today, I want to tell you about something I am thinking of adding to the blog, something that everyone can partake in, something that can allow truly significant strides towards treading lightly on this planet, and something that will hopefully open our senses in such a way that we can be affected meaningfully.

We live in a society that seems to value upward mobility as defined through having been everywhere, and having had "interesting" experiences elsewhere. But we fail to recognise everything it is that surrounds us that subconsciously and viscerally shapes us. Many times, we fail to recognise beauty that exists outside of our windows and just down the street. What I am proposing is this - each week, I will go to a different part of the place I live in, Ann Arbor, and talk to people there, observe those spaces, and tell you about my experiences. I am hoping to appreciate much more fully this unique place, the only place like it in the world.

Each place we live in is unique. Rather than look to exploring places far away, maybe we can all explore the places we are in and appreciate them. Along the way, maybe we'll realise that meaningful action can be taken here and now, in the places we are in. We'll save some money along the way, too...that's always a good thing, right?

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