Friday, July 30, 2004

The Power of Place

by Skald

Just finished a book called The Power of Place. I was intrigued by the title, but unfortunately, the title was the best part of the book. However, there was one excellent line in the book: "We can powerfully manage our psychology with geography." That statement rings true.

Perhaps I'm more sensitive than most... but nothing seems to impact my mental health quite as much as where I'm living. When living in big cities, I have typically been high-strung, irritible, and quasi-manic (my current state while living in Bangkok). Living in the redneck suburban hell of Greenville, SC (a conservative right-wing outpost) I continually felt stifled, oppressed, and bored.

On the other hand, I feel an immediate uplift every time I drive into Athens, GA or Asheville, NC. Likewise, Dharmasala & Varanasi India..... Chang Mai, Thailand..... and Orvieto, Italy. Some places lift the spirit, some squash it. There is tremendous power in geography and social-geography. Where we live matters... and it matters a lot!

Therefore, I have come to my senses and turned down the job offer at Thammasat University (what was I thinking?!). And while Bangkok has been an interesting one year experiment, I am now plotting my next move... possibly to Chang Mai... possibly to another country.

It is time to manage my psychology with geography once again. Let's call it "Hobopoet Therapy".

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