THE SENSE OF PLACES

THE SENSE OF PLACES

I am not sure when I first got the sensation that places had their own sense, a feeling of their own; I guess this happened very early, in my childhood. In the village of my boyhood, places had a name and they were all special. They kept a secret. There was the place of the strawberries, that of the cherries, the place for water and that for sand. Everyone maintained a peculiar relationship with a specific place. I still remember the place where I used to find mushrooms or where chestnuts fell on the ground as castles, fleeting pieces of art. That was a secret between me and those places. And other children had their own magical and mysterious places. Even now, when someone comes back from the countryside with wild herbs, mushrooms, berries, and he is looked upon with a mixture of surprise and envy by others, who did not find anything, he proudly and smugly replies: ‘Sacciu li lochi’ (I know the places) – I feel them, I have a practice and acquaintance with them. Places unfold before us, they choose us. Places respond with generosity to the connection that we decide to maintain with them. […] We are our place, our places: all the places, real or imaginary, that we lived, acknowledged, discarded, combined, obliterated, invented. We are also the relationship that we have been able and willing to establish with places. Vito Teti (2004) Il Senso dei Luoghi, Roma, Donzelli editore.

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