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Wildhood is kinship of the wild in all people, places, and things.

Workshop

Welcome the wild.

Getting Back Into Place, 4, Dimensions, 1 of 7

Mark Douglas

Dimensions

The nature of the body-place relationship is diaphanous. When we talk about our own bodies and use terms like I, my, this, here it is clear to ourselves and other folks around us what we mean to convey. But, the terms are dependent on the context in which they get used. Saying "I" or "you" or any of the above terms is a speaking done with contextual contingency. " 'I' or 'you' is not a concrete person but a role a person assumes" (p. 71). The invocation of the terms states only these bare facts: "(some) speaker is speaking…this speaker has a body…the same speaker is picking out an object in his or her immediate vicinity. But we already know these facts if we are part of the communicative situation" (p. 72). This means that talking about the body, while informative, is not easily meaningfully constructive. It's challenging to give much meaning to conversations about the body-in-place.

Using the terms of Chapter 3, here, there, near, far; is similarly challenging. The use of such terms "is directly dependent on the local context: what counts as near in one situation is not felt as near at all in another, although the objective distance may be exactly the same in both cases" (p. 72). So what's left over? What can we say is concrete about bodies in places? What is the "concrete remainder" (Hegel), the "restance" (Derrida)? What's leftover is " 'a Before and Behind, and Above and Below, a Right and Left' " (p. 72). 

There's two senses of concreteness in these remainders. 1) Even if the I, me, and here evaporate into the atmosphere of being, the six remaining particular terms are leftover. 2) The same follows for the dyadic other terms: there, near, and far. The concreteness of bodies-in-place does not fall out of the either the here and there or the near and far; it stems "by dint of the organic body as pivot" (p. 72). Therefore, place is the substance caused to be deposited from the suspension of networked connections among the dimensions right, left, above, below, before, behind.

These dimensions are "etween the embodied subject and the surrounding world that benefits from their structuring" (p. 73). The dimensions are part of both the perceived surrounding environment and are a part of lived bodies. What is right of me in place stems from my right side itself. What is behind me in place stems from my backside. In these ways, place is "the multidimensional composition of a lived body and its circumambient region" (p. 73).


Regions

Regions are gatherings of places. Places are particular parts of regions. Region is an abstract sort of term. When we think about examples of regions we can think about landscapes. "A landscape can be considered the phenomenal or sensuous manifestation of a region" (p. 73). Because regions are a kind of gathering they have their own powers and virtues. Lived bodies are crucial to the animation and connection of places and regions. If we wanted to turn the term region into a verb then we would define region-ing as "the ways in which bodies relate to regions as active gatherings of places" (p. 74). 

Places gather-in. A place "gathers in the dimensions and directions indicated by the body's insertion into it" (p. 74). Regions gather-out or out gather. Regions out-gather by collecting "places toward which the body is already directed and with which it is also connected dimensionally" (p. 74). 

Without places and regions (landscapes) all that remains is space and void. Space and void are without lived bodies.