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Spirit of the Place: Indiana Hill Country [Hardcover]

Alexander Thom

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Book Description

1 Jun 1995
"You have roots in a place, or you don't; you can't force them. It helps to be born there, though that's not your choice to make. But there are things you do that feed and strengthen those roots. The four best root fertilizers you can give in your lifetime are sweat and blood and tears and ashes. You can give both the sweat and the blood by stringing barbed-wire fences, by clearing briars and thorny locusts out of the fencerows, by picking raspberries and blackberries, or by hurting yourself with the tools or implements you use on behalf of your place. Or by giving birth there. You can give sweat and tears and ashes by burying a beloved animal or spreading a parent's ashes over the ground. You can give all of them, sweat, blood, tears and ashes, by fighting in a war for your country. If you're lucky you won't have to do that right there on the place of your own roots, but even then they all go to fertilize it. And then you can die in that place, and if that is the place you want to die, then that's really where your roots are." - James Alexander Thom. At Walden Pond, Henry Thoreau found the setting which would inspire his famous musings on the nature of existence and the foibles of his society. Photographer Jones and writer Thom take similar inspiration from the Southern Indiana hill country where they live and work and in consort provide a beautiful and insightful meditation on the meaning of place and the values of rootedness and community, reflecting their different but similar paths toward personal harmony and spiritual understanding. Jones sees beyond the surface of nature to the basic elements - earth, air, water, and rock. His photographs are: contemplative studies on the metaphysics of nature, the invisible made visible, God's mind revealed, and the pre-existing harmony which exists in nature if only we can see it. Thom's text, taking its inspiration from Jones's images, traces the cycle of his life from birth in rural Gosport to a life of journalism in the big cities of the world, and then back home again, where he found both his voice as a writer and his spiritual rootedness.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (1 Jun 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253329876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253329875
  • Product Dimensions: 28.5 x 28.4 x 1.8 cm

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Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful coffee table book that espouses the beauty of much-maligned Indiana 12 April 2006
By DWD's Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Photographer Darryl Jones and author James Alexander Thom teamed together to make a wonderful little book about the natural beauty of the southern Indiana hill country. Thom's text complements Jones' photographs wonderfully.

Being a native Hoosier, I have an appreciation for the subtle beauties of the state. Jones does as well. Most of his pictures are taken in hilly Owen county. He captures every season, as well as forest, field, stream, farm, and town scenes.

Thom's text is part biography and part stories he heard growing up in Owen County. If you are a fan on Thom's other works, this one will be a nice addition. If you've never heard of Thom, this is a great place to get to know him and his motivations as an author.

I give this one an 'A'.
5.0 out of 5 stars James Alexander Thom writes so beautifully! 11 Dec 2009
By Etiquette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love Indiana and this author apparently does too. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book.
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