Sunday, 31 May 2009

Spirit of Place

"Sweet secret suburb on the City's rim"... "where city clerk can turn countryman again", "linked to the Metropolis by electric train." Yet again, Betjeman's words permeate my thoughts as I wander around Jeziorki, soaking in the the spirit of place.

What is it that bids me to seek out spirit of place (platzgeist in German, mirroring the word zeitgeist or 'spirit of time')?

[We can also use the Latin genius loci - thanks Marzena!]

And why am I so happy having found a specific spirit of place here in Jeziorki? Being in a place brings on spiritual contentment? Can one have a metaphysical attachment to place?

Pilgrimage, the journey to a place of cult or veneration, but why that particular place? What was it about the spirit of that place, its klimat, that determined that it should be a shrine, a place of pilgrimage? To what extent is the journey as important as the destination? The notion of topophilia is relevant.

There are places that have a peculiar magic about them; these can be urban, suburban or rural, mountains, coast or plains, but they differ from places that lack any atmosphere or klimat. Greenford or Hayes in Middlesex - ghastly places. Vast swathes of outer London - identical high streets, traffic, crowds, lacking in character.

But here in Jeziorki, I feel at home, I feel that this is where I am from. So close to the centre of a capital city, yet I can walk around for a hour without bumping into anyone else.

[D80 battery memory: 46 photos today, two occurrences of the battery telling me its dead.]


Anonymous said...

Michael - 'googled' your problem - looks like you are not the lone ranger


Michael Dembinski said...

Bob - thanks for that ( first on search). Looks pretty random. A new battery bought at Giełda Foto next Sunday may do the trick... A s/h D40x or D60 body is also on my wanted list.

Unknown said...

Hej Michal.... Sounds like you're 'connecting' with mother earth... quite right. If only there were more enlightened folk. I've read 'Resurgence' for many years - will bring you a copy or 2 to flick through...
Hopefully see later in the week, R.

Dyspozytor said...

This is a gross slur on Greenford. For an alternative view of this popular West London health resort please see In Praise of... Greenford on Behind The Water Tower.

David Zieloni said...

Michael - your photos are excellent. Can you advise me? I am heading off on safari to Kenya later this month and then to Botsawana in August. I want plenty of landscape and animal shots. I am loking at the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 (18x optical zoom and 10 mp) or the Canon SX10 IS (20x zoom and 10mp). I am travelling to the US this week and looking to pick one of these up. Any tips ar thoughts?

Michael Dembinski said...

David - thanks for the comment. Cameras - neither. Go for a DSLR (doesn't really matter whether Canon or Nikon, though I'm a Nikon person). An excellent camera site with lots of in-depth reviews is this one:

in particular this page:

Where will be able to see your Africa photos?