A Path to Our Future: Artful Thinking, Learning, Teaching, and Research
Chapter Eleven: Storying: Ways of Seeing
← 142 | 143 →CHAPTER ELEVEN
The Irish have a word that is used by people interested in environmental issues, dinnseanchas. Translated into English, the terms means “deep lore of place,” and it encompasses the whole history of a place. The individual is formed by interaction with his/her place, and is part of a large story. Central to dinnseanchas is story and how story engages the whole history of a place (Wall, 2011).
Thus, we end this book with a narrative essay and a selection of narrative poems in which the artists uncover for the reader the layers of meaning, the characters, and the histories, of two very different settings. “Roads, Stories, Indians, Air” is an essay from the book Northern Orchards: Places Near the Dead, a mixed-genre collection on cemeteries and sacred space by James Silas Rogers (2014), director of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The focus of this narrative essay is one particular cemetery in one particular place and the stories it holds.
We go to cemeteries, in part, to realign ourselves with the stories we have already received. This is especially true if we have bonds of ancestry and recollection with someone buried there; but even when we lack such connections, we can go to cemeteries in order to wait for other people’s stories. Most gravestones provide at ← 143 | 144 → the very least a protagonist, a beginning, and an end, and one of the odd things about...
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