Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Returning to Our Privileged Places

I don’t have one of those incredible lists of “750 Autumn Activities,” but I do have a small collection of September/October stuff I like to do every year. This Fall there’s a few new items, and the best one so far was returning to the place where Chris and I met.

A few months ago I read about Mircea Eliade’s “privileged places” and I had to track down his whole book, “The Sacred and Profane.” He describes the privileged places of our lives as
...qualitatively different from all others -- a man’s birthplace, or the scenes of his first love, or certain places in the first foreign city he visited in his youth. Even for the most frankly nonreligious man, all these places still retain an exceptional, a unique quality; they are the “holy places” of his private universe, as if it were in such spots that he had received the revelation of a reality other than that which he participates through his ordinary life.
Do you have holy places like that? There are places I consider important personal historical sites, but I don’t have many that feel sacred. There is my home in Idaho, 27 Palace Court in London, and the magnolia-lined street in Virginia where I saw fireflies for the first time. And then, of course, our friend’s beautiful home in Palo Alto where Chris and I first met. Even though we live fifteen minutes away from this Perry Family landmark, we hadn’t been back in the last four years.

There’s just something wonderful about returning to those places, and it feels like the best kind of time travel. I could see my younger self walking up the street, nervous and excited and oblivious. Literally the only interaction Chris and I had with each other was about Chris’ job at Bump, and how my dad was adorably obsessed with their app. Barely anything. But to us, it’s enough to imbue this whole neighborhood with romance, to make it sacred.

b perry

1 comment:

I try to respond to comments if I have your email :)