I had never realised that this is perhaps an article of faith with me until I read of Nicolson’s belief in place as a repository of memory.  I remember stepping into a house beautiful in its architecture, position, layout and furnishings, but so steeped in sadness that I could hardly get out fast enough.  Other places can be stifling and oppressive and still others ring with accretions of joy. 

It is an article of faith with me that a place consists of everything that has happened there; it is a reservoir of memories; and understanding those memories is not a trap but a liberation, a menu of possibilities.  The richer the knowledge, the wider the options. 

 

Source: Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst: An unfinished history (London: Harper Press, 2009), p. 73

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