So I will go first...this person and his writings are my "bible" His beliefs are mine, I was shaped and formed the same as he. This is from an essay he wrote, who is he????
"It is my belief that a human imagination is shaped by the architecture it encounters at an early age. The visual landscape, of course, or the depth, elevation, and hues of a cityscape play a part here, as does the way sunlight everywhere etches lines to accentuate forms. But the way we imagine is also affected by streams of scent flowing faint or sharp in the larger ocean of air; by what the North American composer John Luther Adams calls the sonic landscape; and, say, by an awareness of how temperature and humidity rise and fall in a place over a year.
My imagination was shaped by the exotic nature of water in a dry southern California valley; by the sound of wind in the crowns of eucalyptus trees; by the tactile sensation of sheened earth, turned in furrows by a gang plow; by banks ofsaffron, mahogany and scarlet cloud piled above a field of alfalfa at dusk; by encountering the musk from orange blossoms at the edge of an orchard; by the aftermath of a Pacific storm crashing a hot, flat beach.
Added to the nudge of these sensations were an awareness of the height and breadth of the sky, and of the geometry and force of the wind. Both perceptions grew directly out of my efforts to raise pigeons and from the awe I felt before them as they maneuvered in the air. They gave me permanently a sense of the vertical component of life.
I became intimate with the elements of that particular universe. They fashioned me. I return to them regularly in essays and stories in order to clarify or explain abstractions or to strike contrasts. I find the myriad relationships in that universe comforting. They form a "coherence" of which I once was a part.
I can understand my life as prefigured in those two kinds of magic, the uncanny lives of creatures different from me (and, later, of cultures different from my own); and the twinned desires--to go, to see. I became a writer who travels and one who focuses, to be concise, mostly on what logical positivists sweep aside.
Over time I have come to think of these three qualities--paying intimate attention; a storied relationship to a place rather than a solely sensory awareness of it; and living in some sort of ethical unity with a place--as a fundamental human defense against loneliness. If you're intimate with a place, a place with whose history you're familiar, and you establish an ethical conversation with it, the implication that follows is this: the place knows you're there. It feels you. You will not be forgotten, cut off, abandoned.
Many of us, I think, long to become the companion of a place, not its authority, not its owner. And this brings me to a final point. I think many wonder, as I do, why over the last few decades people in Western countries have become so anxious about the fate of undeveloped land, and so concerned about losing the intelligence of people who've kept up intimate relations with those places. I don't know where the thinking of others has led them, but I believe curiosity about good relations with a particular stretch of land now is directly related to speculation that it may be more important to human survival to be in love than to be in a position of power. It may be more important now to enter into an ethical and reciprocal relationship with everything around us than to continue to work toward the sort of control of the physical world that, until recently, we aspired to.
When I was a boy, running through orange groves in southern California, watching wind swirl in a grove of blue gum, and swimming ecstatically in the foam of Pacific breakers, I had no such imperative thoughts. I was content to watch a brace of pigeons fly across an azure sky, rotating on an axis that to this day I don't think I could draw. My comfort, my sense of inclusion in the small universe I inhabited, came from an appreciation of, a participation in, all that I saw, smelled, tasted, and heard. That sense of inclusion not only assuaged my sense of loneliness as a child, it confirmed my imagination. And it is that single thing, the power of the human imagination to extrapolate from an odd handful of things--faint movement in a copse of trees, a wingbeat, the damp cold of field stones at night--the human ability to make from all this a pattern, to compose a story out of it, that fixed in me a sense of hope.
We keep each other alive with our stories. We need to share them, as much as we need to share food. We also require for our health the presence of good companions. One of the most extraordinary things about the land is that it knows this--and it compels language from some of us so that as a community we may converse about this or that place, and speak of the need.