the geography of a life.

I only have about thirty minutes before class starts and part of that is going to have to involve a snowy trek across the quad, so this is gonna be quick.

So there’s this word in Japanese. Tokoro. ところ, if you want to know what it looks like. It means place.

‘Place’ in Germanic languages is kind of weird; Ort and ställe aren’t words that you usually teach to beginning learners and they’re kind of hard to use the way we use place in English. German and Swedish are much more likely to just say there.

Tokoro, on the other hand, can be used in a much more simple and direct way than even we use place in English.

I like being attached to places. Mostly because I have a few across the globe and I like to show off. But here’s a quick list of some of them:

-A spot on the walking path above Davis Field where I used to go when I wanted to be in sight of campus and alone.

-Scout Hollow, a little creek valley between the interstate and the golf course in my hometown I shared it with Sam once or twice, but it’s also been mine in my own way for a long time.

-My parents’ backyard.

-Alta Vista Drive outside of McCall.

-Syrup Creek (where Hannah and I took our senior pictures).

-A little park south of my apartment that Sam took me to once when we were first dating. I’ve never once been to it in daylight.

-The ISU pillars, though I don’t go there as much as I used to.

-The top of the hill behind the nursery school in Mariehem, just as you start to head out towards the water tower and Ersboda. That little road, and a rock or two along it, got me through some of the hardest parts of my year abroad.

-A little perch of bridge over the Ume River, not far from the city church, where I hung a lock from the chain-link fence.

-In the same vein, the bridge just before Nydalahöjd from which I took a picture of the last Swedish not-quite-sunset I saw.

-The middle of Turtle River Lake.

-Sjölunden’s sailing dock.

-A set of steps down to the river in Riga, across the street from the Occupation Museum, where I ate my lunch of roll and apple and thought about bringing Sam with me there one day.

A lot of these are outside. Interesting. Okay, I gotta scoot.


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