You can't hold places still.
For the truth is that you can never simply 'go back', to home or to anywhere else. When you get 'there' the place will have moved on just as you yourself will have changed. And this of course is the point. For to open up 'space' to this kind of imagination means thinking time and space as mutually imbricated and thinking both of them as the product of interrelations. You can't go back in space-time. To think that you can is to deprive others of their ongoing independent stories. It may be 'going back home', or imagining regions and countries as backward, as needing to catch up, or just taking that holiday in some 'unspoilt, timeless' spot. The point is the same. You can't go back. (DeCerteau's trajectories are not, in fact, reversible. That you can trace backwards on a page/map does not mean you can in space-time. The indigenous Mexicans might re-trace their footsteps, but their place of origin will no longer be the same.) You can't hold places still.

What you can do is meet up with others, catch up with where another's history has got to 'now', but where that 'now' (more rigorously, that 'here and now', that hic et nunc) is itself constituted by nothing more than – precisely – that meeting up (again).

Doreen Massey, For Space (2005)


  1. Now might be a bad time to post this but I just couldn't help myself. Doreen Massey is awesomeness.

  2. She is AWESOMENESS. I know I say I love things a lot, but I love this. Also - it's not necessarily a bad thing, no? just that you can't do the impossible