Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home by Ann Armbrecht

Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Home

byAnn Armbrecht

Kobo ebook | December 29, 2008

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Thin Places is an eloquent meditation on what it means to move between cultures and how one might finally come home, a particular paradox in a culture that lacks deep ties to the natural world. During the 1990s, Ann Armbrecht, an American anthropologist, made several trips to northeastern Nepal to research how the Yamphu Rai acquired, farmed, and held onto their land; how they perceived their area's recent designation as a national park and conservation area; and whether-as she believed-they held a wisdom about living on the earth that the industrialized West had forgotten.

What Armbrecht found instead were men and women who shared her restlessness, people also driven by the feeling that there must be more to life than they could find in their village. "We each blamed our dissatisfaction on something in the world," she writes, "not something in ourselves or in the stories we told ourselves about that world. If only we lived elsewhere, then we would be at home."

Charting Armbrecht's travels in the mountains of Nepal and in the United States and her disintegrating marriage back home, Thin Places is ultimately an exploration not of the sacred far-off but of the sacredness of places that are between-between the internal and external landscape, the self and others, and the self and the land. She finds that home is not a place where we arrive but a way of being in place, wherever that place may be. Along the way, Armbrecht explores the disconnections in our most intimate relationships, how they stem from the same disconnections that create our destruction of the land, and how one cannot be healed without attending to the other.

Ann Armbrecht is the author of Settlements of Hope: An Account of Tibetan Refugees in Nepal. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont, with her husband and two children.
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Title:Thin Places: A Pilgrimage HomeFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:December 29, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231518293

ISBN - 13:9780231518291

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Read from the Book

Read Chapter 10, >Thin Places. (pdf)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Part I. Departure
1. Growing Rice
2. Seeds
3. Conserving the Land
4. The Books
5. The Black Box
6. The Barun Fesitval
7. The Bamboo Bridge
Part II. Initiation
8. Stories as Boundaries
9. Gold Earrings
10. Thin Places
11. The Sacred Spring
12. Kelekpa the Shaman
13. Mapping Power
14. Lost Souls
Part III. Return
15. Leaving
16. Baiseti Thuma
17. A Far-Off Place
18. Absence
19. Manguhang
Part IV. Birth
20. Birth
21. Sage Mountain
22. Sacred Stories
23. Listening
24. The Healing Stone
25. The Black Bag
26. Voices in the Land
27. The Waterfall
28. Bare Feet on Wet Earth
Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

Armbrecht's honest prose is immediately life giving.