On place, moving, living incarnationally

It’s been just over six months since we moved back to Nebraska from the little town of Siloam Springs, Arkansas and

You just don’t know how connected you are to a place until you leave it.

When we moved to Siloam Springs I didn’t expect to become attached to such a small community, in Arkansas, nestled into them thar hills.

What I learned is that it’s easier, in some ways, to become a part of a smaller community. And that it’s the people that make the community what it is in large part. This is no revelation to me or anyone else who’s considered the topic, but living in Arkansas was my first adult experience, so to speak, far apart from a culture that I knew.

Granted, there were some ups and downs in our relationship with the place, but the same can be said for every relationship. And there is a little more to it than just the people, especially to a visual geek (what’s the visual equivalent of “audiophile?”) like myself. For Siloam, it helped greatly to have a liberal arts university, a quaint downtown in the midst of restoration, centrally located parks with a creek running through them etc.

So at this point I’m wondering how quickly a person can become an integral part of a different — and larger — community and by what means. I have an advantage here in Grand Island having lived here for a couple years during high school, but the same could be said for the move to Arkansas, going back to the town where my wife graduated from college. However, we’re not all that convinced we’ll be here for much more than a year as we wait for certain doors to open (or not open).

What we are convinced of is that we miss Siloam Springs — with the exception of the allergens.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

One Response to On place, moving, living incarnationally

  1. Jose says:

    Hi. As I was doing research about Siloam Springs, AR I arrived at your blog page and wanted to ask you some questions. I apologize if this bothers you.

    I am very emotioned about the place and can’t wait to go there in 2012 or so. I want to study at JBU and am planning on starting an online business before I move there so that I can have more flexibility living in a small town rather than depending on outsourcing. I am wondering if this is a family environment town since I want to raise my three boys there.

    With your experience, can you please answer these questions:

    How are the people there?

    Are there job opportunities over there?

    Does it get bad in winter?

    Does it snow a lot?

    Is it safe to drive during snow?

    Would it be perfect for someone who likes taking pictures of nature?

    Are there a lot of lakes?

    As head of the household, my main concern is not being able to find a job and this is why I would like to start an online business to avoind depending on others for a job. What can you advise me on this?

    Thank you so much for your time.

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