“A Sense of Place…”

Janet's logo textRecently—watching the evening news—I wondered where is that sense of place I knew so well as a child. The place of family and shelter and protection until that one day at school we were taught how to hide beneath our wooden desks warning The Russians Are Coming! That did not pan out but it did, for the first time, educate me to know that my sense of place had just changed forever.

Also, in those days, we were convinced that, if we chose to, we could dig our way down and find China. Given I was reading a book about China at the time I was more interested in this effort than my two brothers. Their sense of place at the time was building their forts using old wooden boxes and scrap paraphernalia they found as they played all over the neighborhood. Many years later I was fortunate enough to see China: after a very long plane ride. As the drone of the plane flew on I smiled to myself thinking back to the broken wooden spatula my mother encouraged me to use if I was serious about digging my way to another sense of place.

So I ask: On Our Earth Today is there A SENSE OF PLACE anywhere? Anger and frustration and killing fields and lines not to cross and on and on… I need say no more.

So I pose this: If we have forgotten or don’t think about and don’t care about our sense of place then we Humankind are no longer writing the Life Stories of the Individual or Earth itself.

Maybe we should look to Mother Nature’s trees and the animals and the oceans and the land  because they are indeed grounded in A Sense of Place.


The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, grants to “…all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof… In other words, all babies born in America are automatically Americans; granted ALL of our hard-fought rights. Currently the practice is middle-class women from China; in droves. This, well, I can’t imagine China turns its powerful head and says… “Oh do whatever you want.” Nope! Maybe, instead, without ever drawing a Dao Sword (in English often called a broadsword) these babies, as they mature can bring any parental representative into America. Oh, how about when their old enough to vote?

I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me.

It didn’t pass – the results in the U.S. Senate: 61 against and 38 to ratify a United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities. The treaty would have surrendered U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats and would threaten parental control over children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect disabled Americans. Still, how did this even make it out of Senate Committee let alone 38 U.S. senators voting for it. Wasn’t it Hitler who quantified a certain sect of peoples who didn’t mesh with what he coined his master race.

I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me.


I’ve changed! I’ve also discovered it really wasn’t an effort because it happened over time. It happened at home and at work and inside my mind and during breaks from my journeys around the world… Like China. {See “The Middle Kingdom” above: an insightful travelogue of a late 1990s trip there}. After the jet lag and catching up with the mundane and how those I love changed in my absence—it was then I caught a glimpse of the changes in me.

Why the title: “China & Me?” Well because it was the two of us that melded ideologies as I traversed the highways and byways of The Middle Kingdom. Was I forced to go, no! Did China intend my edification while I was there, yes! Did one of us win and the other one lose? No, it wasn’t that kind of melding. As our plane descends, I look down on the landscape that is Colorado and understand, for the first time, the deep love Pope John Paul II held for his beloved Poland.

In the everyday life of being human, we forget the subtleties of our homeland, our human rights and our privileges. I don’t any longer after seeing so many without them.