In a world where transience is the norm and “putting down roots” is a voraciously conscious act, we often set a monolithic, and limiting, definition of rootedness. True, a tree puts down roots and, only with rare exception or human intervention, remains in that place for the rest of its days on Earth. Sometimes that tree doesn’t make it, and sometimes it lasts generations, even dozens of generations.
But we must consider that other animal species roam and wander, migrate and run. There are plant species that pollinate and spread their genetic code not just in the immediate vicinity, but over plains and valleys and beyond mountain ranges. There are species that are connected by genetic code alone and others still that are linked by their physical roots, like the Aspen.
My family moved several times while I was growing up and I have followed the same pattern of town-hopping as a single adult and now, as husband and father. Though being far away from family has become the norm for many of us, it is not easy. But our chosen family—which includes new and old friends alike—surround us in every place have lived. They are our roots, our symbiotic network of relationships, that help us feel grounded, connected to a certain place.
It is not about committing to a single place forever—though I think that is something worth aspiring and working towards. It is about being present and committed to the Place where you are.
When the Temple stood in Jerusalem, it was a commonly held belief that the Holy Presence dwelt only within the Temple, and within the Temple only within the Holy of Holies. When the Temple was destroyed our theology had to evolve to allow for the Divine Presence to be everywhere.
Any possibility of finding our Place will require us to see the potential in every place.
I haven’t taken to writing much on this blog since it was first created, but I’ve learned from my reading of other Tumblr feeds that it’s not about length or quantity, but about capturing and reflecting on that which inspires. So…here goes nothing!
Here’s a new step in the effort to retrofit our cities so they run on ones and zeros.
Lea County, New Mexico was selected this week as the site of a billion-plus dollar test location for new urban technology called the Center for Innovation Testing and Evaluation. The plan is to build a city from scratch on more than 17 square miles of desert west of the city of Hobbs. It’ll be big enough to house tens of thousands of people. But all those buildings will be mostly empty.
A private company, Pegasus Global Holdings, with a background in militarizing commercial technology is behind the project. Managing Director Robert Brumley says this moves Pegasus into the multi-billion-dollar smart cities market. Brumley tells NPR the plan is to create a place where businesses, government and universities can take ideas out of the laboratory and try them out without affecting the people or the infrastructure in a real city.
He envisions testing self-driving trucks without the danger of running anyone over, testing energy storage without risking a power outage for residents, or testing wireless electronics without inadvertently causing people’s garage doors to open and close.
Brumley says CITE will be a “dumb city” in construction, outfitted with “copper, dsl, cable, coax and fiber. But underneath,” he says, “we’re going to wire it up with state of the art technology.” The first step is basically to dig a gigantic hole in the ground.
Local and state officials are welcoming and thrilled at the prospect of the new business this could generate. New Mexico’s governor turned out for the press conference. Says Brumley: “you’ve heard of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard). We have never confronted that in New Mexico.”
Final signatures are not on the real estate deal yet, but it involves a big land purchase and a supplemental 25 year lease from the county. The plan is to break ground for construction in June.
- Franklyn Cater
A strange and frightening development in America. What exactly are these guys planning on testing here? Garage doors? More like red herring.
Last week, Stephen Colbert featured this alarming creation, a hot dog stuffed crust, available at Pizza Huts in the UK. But apparently, Pizza Hut will stop at nothing to numb our sense of taste and, eventually, kill us. Now they’ve created a mini-cheeseburger crust for their Middle Eastern menu. One has to ask if these foods are even remotely culturally appropriate for the countries in which they can be found.
Pizza Hut introduces the Crown Crust Burger Pizza - a pizza encrusted by cheeseburgers. Only available in the Middle East.
My new sounds:
Can humans have infinite growth on this finite planet?