My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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the scent of history

I breathe in deeply and the scent of bonfire fills my nostrils triggering my lips to curl up just slightly. A tear of memories rolls down my face and the chords of “Both Hands” pulse through my body.

After realizing midday yesterday that i was mentally exhausted, i decided to join friends up north at this place called Slide Ranch. After a beautiful drive on Rt 1, i landed at this magical place and it was like flashing back in time to the days of Watermyn. Music in the air, communal veggie food, very hippie style (in that good way). After dinner, folks sat around a bonfire which had a big metal tub on top of it – the hot tub. The ocean lapped up on the shore within sight. I laid on a hammock looking up at the stars and watching the planes approach SFO. With guitars out and collective vocals strong, Ani’s voice emerged and i thought back to the days when Erin would play Ani for me on the piano when i came home.

There was something so calming about that world – a kind of peace that i had forgotten in my city rat lifestyle. Organic farming, permaculture, live music, natural fibers… things i believe in from the depths of my soul but have gotten lost in my material culture that is so heavily mediated. What does it mean that those roots are fading? ::sigh::

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6 comments to the scent of history

  • Alex Supertramp

    Danah, this is not spam, you are most likely familar with, but thought I would share.
    http://www.crosscurrents.org/dillard.htm
    You remind me alot of a great thinker and Author, Anne Dillard.

  • mmm, sounds like ithaca.

    there has to be a balance between the two worlds, and there will be. the two worlds represent two sides of the same coin: our relationship with nature, our love/craving for it and our fear of it. we’re really out of balance right now, but you’re tipping it in the right direction by having these thoughts and throwing them out there to the world. the ripples have effects we cannot see, and it’s always the stuff we can’t see that’s most important.

  • emily

    i’m getting ready to go do a child development study at a sustainable community in virginia. i can’t wait.

  • Phil Henderson

    So nice to know that SLIDE is still happening. Lots of my friends used to hang there in the 70’s and it sounds like much may be the same. I used to love it there. One of the big moments, there, was the long path down to the outhouse, away from the joy and hubbub …that faced the vast and peaceful Pacific. A nicer place could not be found. So glad you gotta drop in there. Aloha Phil

  • Jenn

    I miss watermyn. I miss you! I need a vacation. I saw that weird German grad student who danced alone at the center of the naked party the other day. Then I got home to an invitation to help plan my 10 year reunion and a coupon for wrinkle cream and thought that I’ve gotten really old in the last couple of years.
    Jenn

  • Hey there dear.

    So, I was reading this and became rather touched. I too struggle with the notion of fading memories… in our techno-filled city dwelling rat race it’s hard to remember the simple happy times. The roots will never fade though. You felt them so deep, they will always be inside you… and they will help to guide you as dance, rush, and chaotically clammer through the the city that you love now. They wont ever go away!

    anita

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