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The Juxtaposition of “who owns this land.”

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Ignore that fancy word.

Juxtapositon.

It simply means comparing and contrasting.

How is an orange like an apple?  How is it different.

It’s a big part of how my mind works as I take three steps daily:

  1. Being curious
  2. Being Amazed.
  3. Being Moved to tell a story.     Many times my stories are about these amazing things and how they differ.  Stories that make us laugh, others that bring tears,  some that must be repeated.

I’m in the midst of juxtaposition on land ownership.

I’m a partial heir to land that was homesteaded by my ancestors about 1890.

I thought about the words of an old Marshall Tucker Band song:

 

“My idea of a good time is walking my property line

and knowing the mud on my boots is mine.”

-Toy Caldwell  “Property Line.”

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Crooked Bayou mud on my boots

I fill with pride about this family land that has been passed on to me, then I realize I’ve just got in on loan.  At some point, someone will look at the land abstract and wonder who I was.

I don’t own this land.  It’d be better said that it owns me.

The quote below, from Margorie Kinnan Rawlings, is a favorite:

“Who owns Cross Creek? The red-birds, I think, more than I, for they will have their nests even in the face of delinquent mortgages.

It seems to me that the earth may be borrowed, but not bought.

It may be used, but not owned.

It gives itself in response to love and tending, offers its seasonal flowering and fruiting. But we are tenants and not possessors, lovers, and not masters.

Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time…”  

-Margorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling 

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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