Reasons to Be Loyal to the Place We Call Home.

The story is efficient and elegant…parsed out like a grid system.

LOYALTY IS FALLING IN LOVE WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. 

I found this article from the LA Times about a book I am reading (and loving), Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir, by D.J. Waldie:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/07/reading-la-d-j-waldie-holy-land.html

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It’s this:

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versus this, the place I live:

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From the LA Times review:

“He is also defending suburban living and its architecture against the familiar charge that it is fundamentally about escapism and materialism. “The critics later said that all suburban places were about excess,” he writes. “But they were wrong.” The houses in Lakewood — most around 1,100 square feet — instead gave their owners just “enough space to reinvent themselves.” Waldie’s house, which predates most of those in Lakewood, is even smaller, at 957 square feet.

And later: “The grid limited our choices, exactly as urban planners said it would. But the limits weren’t paralyzing. The design of this suburb compelled a conviviality that people got used to and made into a substitute for choices, including not choosing at all.”

In other ways the book and Waldie’s personal story cut against the grain of typical suburban history. If the suburbs — and Los Angeles in a larger sense — have been defined by restlessness and reinvention, and by a willingness to scrub the past clean when it’s convenient, Waldie is deeply reflective and unusually settled; there is a rooted constancy to his life and to his writing.”

Mountains aren’t better. They’re different. 

And as much as I love living in the mountains, I recognize the nobility in crafting a meaningful existence out of grid living. There is an equal amount of materialism in mountain towns, ski towns, etc. that has evolved out of the popularity associated with mountain sports…the need to get out of town and escape. The way you craft your own moral imagination comes from your delegation of the principles of greed, escapism, materialism, and privacy to your respective home.

I think all the moral indicators above exist both in cities and rural living arrangements…the point indicated in both the book’s title and its articulation. Biblical allusions and elaborations and moral imaginations exist in any human living conditions.

Los Angeles 

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Missoula

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We’re all people creating livelihoods in communities. Fall in love with the place you live and the people in it. That’s ethical, loyal, and indicative of a vivid moral imagination. Elitism associated with place is something this country needs to be disloyal to…needs to abandon.

Loyalty is falling in love with what you have.

J. Bird

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