I’ve been listening to jazz a lot on this nearly four-week trip, something completely new to me. I bought some of iTunes basic collections, of Ella Fitzgerald and some early jazz, and have also been listening to streaming radio. One of the songs I’ve got to know is “I Love Paris,” written by Cole Porter. I do love Paris, but this visit has convinced me that London is my city. There’s nowhere on earth I feel so at home. I’m sitting on a bench in Mecklenburgh Square, with wifi, and just took this photo so you can see how beautiful it is at Goodenough College. The terrace where the Goodenough Club is is behind the trees, a graceful Georgian terrace that’s been beautifully restored.
I’ve been puzzling over the question of our sense of place. Why is it that I feel so much at home here? Time plays a role–it’s only five minutes’ walk from here to the John Street offices where I had my first summer job in publishing, and I’ve walked this part of London for over half my lifetime. But there must be more. I’m spending most of the morning planning a new catalogue and forward list, and one of the books I need to get into development is our Community Building Handbook. I don’t think we covered the idea of a sense of place in our Encyclopedia of Community, but we did have an article on what a sense of community means. I’ll be taking a look to find out how we can fit these ideas together; they are hard to tackle in academic writing, but they’re concepts and feelings that many of us recognize, and that provide a basis for important social structures. Where do you feel at home?