‘ (the) world can be perceived as animated, alive, active, depending from the level of interaction established between body and surrounding things ………in this sense, inert matter…….. can be considered “alive”. Christopher Tilley
Conversation With a Stone
I knock at the stone’s front door “It’s only me, let me come in. I want to enter your insides, have a look round, breathe my fill of you.” “Go away,” says the stone. “I’m shut tight. Even if you break me to pieces, we’ll all still be closed. You can grind us to sand, we still won’t let you in.”
I knock at the stone’s front door. “It’s only me, let me come in. I’ve come out of pure curiosity. Only life can quench it. I mean to stroll through your palace, then go calling on a leaf, a drop of water. I don’t have much time. My mortality should touch you.”
“I’m made of stone,” says the stone. “and must therefore keep a straight face. Go away. I don’t have the muscles to laugh.”
I knock at the stone’s front door. “It’s only me, let me come in. I hear you have great empty halls inside you, unseen, their beauty in vain, soundless, not echoing anyone’s steps. Admit you don’t know them well yourself.”
“Great and empty, true enough,” says the stone, “but there isn’t any room. Beautiful, perhaps, but not to the taste of your poor senses. You may get to know me but you’ll never know me through. My whole surface is turned toward you, all my insides turned away.”
I knock at the stone’s front door. “It’s only me, let me come in. I don’t seek refuge for eternity. I’m not unhappy. I’m not homeless. My world is worth returning to. I’ll enter and exit empty-handed. And my proof I was there will be only words, which no one will believe.”
“You shall not enter,” says the stone. “You lack the sense of taking part. No other sense can make up for your missing sense of taking part. Even sight heightened to become all-seeing will do you no good without a sense of taking part. You shall not enter, you have only a sense of what that sense should be, only its seed, imagination.” I knock at the stone’s front door.
“It’s only me, let me come in. I haven’t got two thousand centuries, so let me come under your roof.”
“If you don’t believe me,” says the stone, “just ask the leaf, it will tell you the same. Ask a drop of water, it will say what the leaf has said And, finally, ask a hair from your own head. I am bursting from laughter, yes, laughter, vast laughter, although I don’t know how to laugh.”
I knock at the stone’s front door. “It’s only me, let me come in.”
“I don’t have a door,” says the stone.
One of the most vital points made throughout these works is that places and landscapes are not merely backdrops in which human activities occur, but loci where assemblages of people, things, materials, actions, histories, and memories coalesce in ways that are meaningful to those who experience them; thus, places and landscapes afford, shape, and constitute human interaction, experience, ways of being in the world, and, ultimately, social identities. Jacob Skousen