Sunday, April 24, 2005

Language, Landscape and Loss

Rebecca Gault was a writer of exceptional talent. Her first book, "Into the Blue" was published in April of 2001. When I met Rebecca in November of 2001 she was beginning work on her next book, Daughter of the Wind which was to be the first book of a trilogy.

Rebecca and I had many ideas for magazine articles and books and had started preliminary work on some of these.

The collaborative project that had us most excited was Language and Landscape. This project had come about through Rebecca's love of language, she had a Ph.D. in linguistics, and her association with the people of the Alamo Navajo reservation near Magdalene, New Mexico.

The premise behind this project is how the landscape has helped shape language. One example in our own language might be "Rock Solid" to describe an object or person that is very trustworthy.

Rebecca was diagnosed with colon cancer in May of 2002 and died on July 1, 2002. Since Rebecca's passing the project has always been in the back of my mind. Though I have found it difficult, since I no longer have the input of ideas and inspiration of a writer and linguist who understands the twists and turns of language much better than I do.

Though Language and Landscape has been on hold for some time now, I am still pursuing the idea. My hope is that I can find a writer to work with who has a feeling for how landscapes have helped to shape not only the English language but other languages as well.

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