A Place in the Grass
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We reached the edge of that forgotten dock and jumped, arms raised, into knee-deep grass. We wore rubber boots, and carried a camera strung to a kite. The dock was the unfinished fragment of a bridge. After crossing a dried up coulee it ended abruptly, two feet above the grass and some unknown depth above solid ground. How many tourists, after detouring hours off the highway to visit the park, had stopped here, startled by the deep murk below, perhaps taken a snapshot, sighed at the immensity, then turned back to the car? What more could be out there? It was empty. A Place in the Grass offers a series of reflections on how we navigate empty space and make our place in it, how measures amass into patterns, and perceptions ultimately become places. It reflects on how the elements of place unfold on the landscape to orient us, and blind us. It unpacks the instruments that harness a Prairie we’ve yet to discover. I’m searching in the margins of our measures, beyond our instruments, for fragments where the unknown not only survives, but evolves. I’m operating on a hope (as all Prairie endeavors do) that these fragments, gathered together, might expand that empty park and its deep grass into an atlas, a quilt of marginal places where one can still get lost. There is a fine line between belonging and being lost, a possibility that they are one and the same, and a fear that we are unable to distinguish them. In this context, anchoring ourselves against the undertow of empty space, we build.