Saturday, February 02, 2008

A sense of place

We went to the River Market area
to get our Turkish coffee.
The Mid-eastern market is there.

Some of the buildings in the downtown area have murals.
These works of art commemorate past events.
The murals connect the past to the present.
A visual reminder of the importance of the river.

I have been reading about how where we live influences who we are.
Our sense of place is translated in the aesthetics and the culture of our cities.
We bring our heritage to the landscape and the enviroment dictates our expression
of our traditions.

My city was founded on the banks of the Missouri River, the Mighty Mo.
Although I live 15 miles from the river I am influenced by its current.
My city is dependant on the river.

This influence is not always conscious.
We never even have to see the river,
but the river defines this city and her people.
It is sunny today.
The Groundhog surely saw his shadow.
I can wait for spring.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Fun pictures Q. You are lucky to have a market such as that at your disposal. We would have to drive at least an hour to a market that has many choices. I think the nearest ethnic market is probably in Indianapolis. A 2 1/2 hr drive. I live in a smalllll town. In the middle of corn fields. Our little town is also situated on a river, the Wabash. It is a very historic town. Too much to go in to in a comment. INteresting tho.

meggie said...

My tidal life is & has always been, close to oceans, & beaches.
Love the murals.
A lovely post.

Naturegirl said...

The murals are beautiful expressions.
I have always lived near water..near the sea, near the lake and rivers ... near my pond!
Life begins in ~WATER~ water is life giving! hugs NG

Mary said...

When I left the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, I thought it sad but we have large lakes and rivers here!

I enjoyed this post. Charlotte is becoming ethnic but will never be as ethnic as my hometown.

Glad you had a nice day and found your Turkish coffee.


nina at Nature Remains. said...

Water is so precious to so many. Whether for drink , trade or just to watch roll along--so much value there.

Beautiful murals.

Marvin said...

I've always thought it ironic that rivers bring people together and help create a shared experience, yet we often create artificial divisions by using them as boundaries.

Roll on, Big Muddy.

Jeanne said...

I too cannot wait until Spring my darling friend.
I love you

Jeanne said...

Beautiful is all that you share.
I forgot to put that in my post.
Love Jeanne

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
A diverse group of people live in Kansas City! We have Asian Markets, Russian Markets and Mid-eastern! I think if I looked I could find even more.
I have always thought I would enjoy living in a small town. I like the idea of being able to walk to the post office or ride my bike to the library. With the internet I still could order the things I want...Not very many "green" choices here in K.C.!
I just ordered a set of bamboo fiber towels from the intenet.
The Wabash is a famous river. From your pictures it looks very beautiful. I enjoy learning about different rivers and landscapes and the people that live near them.

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
My husband and I were both born and raised in the Kansas City area. I did live a few months in Denver, Colorado back in the early 1970's. Still keeping an apartment here as well.
Perhaps because of my husband's work we have stayed in our childhood area. Our children have moved to the west coast. I enjoy visiting them.
I have traveled some and always enjoy being near the Ocean. Walking the beach is a lovely way to spend the morning. Sunrises and sunsets over the ocean are always so beautiful.
One of my friends is a mountain lady. She lives in a house tucked into the Rockies. She loves the snow and the mountain streams.
I am fascinated how each of us is influenced by our landscape.
Thank you.

Q said...

Dear Anna,
Water is life giving! My garden ponds are so small that I think of them as large bird baths. I like to see the current of the river and I like the lakes that are nearby too. Fresh water is a different sort of study than salt water. I like marsh lands and all the birds that call the water ways home.
The Murals are very beautiful. I look for them when we travel too. I remember traveling the Oregon Trail to Oregon City. The mural that greeted us is still in my mind and that was eight years ago.
I am glad my city celebrates the past. I also love seeing public art.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Turkish coffee is very strong and very powerful! The cardamom in the one we drink gives the coffee an exotic smell and flavor, tasty stuff.
I have visited the Atlantic, the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. There are many oceans I would like to visit. Maybe someday!
Learning about the different cultures in the world is very interesting. Learning about different trades and crafts is interesting too. I like the way the environment helps create jobs and specialization. I am studying the Mid-east in February. Since I try to get around the entire world each year I have to do a large sweep. I include India in my study.
The flora and the fauna in the world is amazing. Not only are the people diverse but all of nature!
When people move from here to there they do take their traditions with them. These are modified to fit into the climate and the food sources available.
I adore diversity!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
As I learn about the "people" history of an area water seems to be a huge part of the whys of behavior. Humans are very connected to nature but not always aware of the connect. Weather does change how we dress and affects mood! Not enough sunshine, too hot, too cold, too dry can cause tempers to be frayed. Also water dicates what food is available. When people move they take the taste of home with them. Water changes the flora and the fauna of an area. I love to see how the landscape has influenced the birds and the bugs.
People are so interesting.

Q said...

Dear Marvin,
It is ironic! I think it is wonderful to watch the birds and butterflies. Some use the waterways for migration. They also do not know they have crossed into another country. In my world I watch and look forward to the Spring and Autumn migration. The seasonal changes are celebrated by people all over the world. When I hear about a group of people in South America being interested in protecting habitat for the birds or the for the butterflies I know I am connected.
Perhaps the rivers and the birds can bring people together.
Maybe someday we will see ourselves as "Earthlings". Still celebrating our diversity and our traditions but in a spirit of cooperation rather than competition. Maybe someday people will see the need to live in harmony with nature and with each other. I hope so.

Q said...

Dear Jeanne,
Finding the beauty, right where I am, seems to be what I do best!
Since I have few dirt roads around me I look to see what the people have done. People are part of nature too. Our nests are just much bigger than the bird's. Expression through painting and sculpture is lovely. The murals remind me of cave paintings.
Glad you enjoyed them. There is more public art in my city. My city is known as the "City of Fountains."

Deb said...

These murals are exquisite. What interesting stories they tell. How true about being influenced by where we live. Your Missouri River is wonderful. I love living by the water.

Q said...

Dear Deb,
The Missouri River at one time was a beautiful river with a swift current. It has been dammed and commercialized so that it is a different river then when Lewis and Clark crossed so many years ago. I do think it still influences this city. People talk about living North or South of the river. Some cities, like where my daughter lives, have two rivers or mountains they resonate with.
You live near beautiful water!
Part of me is very weary of the city. The noise and the light pollution is a bother. I sometimes think I would like to pick up my house and move to the ocean or to the countryside.
I do try to find the beauty in the city. The murals are lovely.