Monday, February 1, 2010

Is There an Ecological Unconscious?

NYTimes has a pretty fascinating article about the relationship between our environments and our mental well-being. I don't know if "ecotherapy" is going to catch on any time soon, but I definitely think environment has an impact on one's mind. And it explains why Wal-Mart is so terribly depressing. I was particularly interested in the notion of "solastalgia."
In a 2004 essay, [Albrecht] coined a term to describe it: “solastalgia,” a combination of the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Greek root –algia (pain), which he defined as “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault . . . a form of homesickness one gets when one is still at ‘home.’ ”

I think that "solastalgia" is one of those things everyone has experienced, but for which we just didn't have a word, until now. The rest of the article is just as interesting; I've been thinking about how it might apply to the Great Plains. Any ideas?

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