Some of you reading Notes from Near and Far may remember that Julia and I have been working in the hills high above the Prespa Lakes monitoring birds as part of an environmental assessment for a proposed wind farm. It is there that I had the good fortune to meet Stavros, an Albanian shepherd who plays the flute as he wanders the limestone hills with his herd. I revisited that unique place and landscape in a longer piece of writing which I’m delighted and honoured to have had published online at Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments.
Since 1998, Terrain has published a themed issue twice a year that explores the world around us through words, images and sound. Taking up such themes as The River’s Turn, The Suburban Frontier, Community Sustained and Islands and Archipelagos, the journal strives to uncover the “soul of a place.” It is a “celebration of the symbiosis between the built and natural environments where it exists and an examination and discourse where it does not.”
My piece can be found on the home page at Terrain.org or through its permanent link at ‘Time in the Karst Country.’ The essay comes with a series of photographs detailing something of the extraordinary place that I was able to spend so much time in and an audio recording of me reading the piece (including a few clicks from the wood stove roaring away in the background!). Comments are encouraged across the site so feel free to add any thoughts or ideas at the end of any contribution, including my own. There’s some wonderful work throughout the issue so please take some time and explore some of the fascinating relationships to place that exist in the world. Many thanks!
“The soul is a region without definite boundaries:
it is not certain a prairie
can exhaust it
or a range enclose it:”
– from “Terrain” by A.R. Ammons