Leaving Bergen

13 Apr

I (and Ross) have just returned to Aberdeen after our three-day trip to Bergen.

As I have briefly mentioned in our blog just before the trip, to me, the sense of place is almost always most acute when I (am about to) leave the place. And the actual content of the sense is formulated when I, having now left the place, think about the place and the “fact” that I was there, and through my effort to establish what I have done and experienced in it.

Now that the trip is over, and I am removed from Bergen, all the events, sounds, images, people, and everything that I–my whole body–experienced are immediately becoming a memory. One thing that is particular–and I find it quite frustrating–in this process, which I did not initiate myself and try to fight against, is that I am finding it difficult to place all the events that happened in Bergen in an accurate timeline. It is as if all of them were thrown into a huge mixing bowl, well shaken, and placed on my plate. Everything appears to be on it and ready for me to taste. But as with a perfectly cooked and prepared dish, the goal is not to taste each individual ingredient, but to experience it as a whole.

Perhaps it is because the emergence and the formulation of the sense of place (and probably most of our processes of remembering–and imagining) is not based on causality in time, but temporality of affect that expands and contracts according to the immediacy of events, images, sounds, and people that surrounded the “I” in the place.

In the coming weeks we will listen to what we have recorded in Bergen, watch the video clips of our journey to the sea, and continue discussing and talking about our experience. I hope (and know) that something unique to Bergen will emerge. In fact, while listening to some good bits of recordings on the last night of our stay, Ross and I both agreed that there was something remarkable in our listenign experience. Whatever it is, we cannot say it is the essence of what Bergen is, but it is, at least, that of our experience in Bergen. And I look forward to experiencing this process of finding out the remarkable in listening. This is where the real fun begins.

– Jun


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