Hallow This Ground

Hallow This Ground

Hallow This Ground

Hallow This Ground

Synopsis

Beginning outside the boarded-up windows of Columbine High School and ending almost twelve years later on the fields of Shiloh National Military Park, Hallow This Ground revolves around monuments and memorials--physical structures that mark the intersection of time and place. In the ways they invite us to interact with them, these sites teach us to recognize our ties to the past. Colin Rafferty explores places as familiar as his hometown of Kansas City and as alien as the concentration camps of Poland in an attempt to understand not only our common histories, but also his own past, present, and future. Rafferty blends the travel essay with the lyric, the memoir with the analytic, in this meditation on the ways personal histories intersect with History, and how those intersections affect the way we understand and interact with Place.

Excerpt

These things usually start with a date, so:

On February 26, 2000, my mother’s fiftieth birthday, I found myself staring up at pieces of plywood in an exurb of Denver, Colorado. the plywood covered some windows that had been broken on purpose almost a year earlier and would stay in place until completion of renovations, a few months away.

From my remove, I shoved my hands a little deeper into my coat’s pockets, trying to block out the wind that swept down from the foothills of the Rockies. I was out of my way; my parents live in Boulder, about a half hour from Denver physically and a million miles away in temperament. Driving up here, I’d left the billboardfree, chain-disdaining environs of Boulder County for the strip mall wonderland of Jefferson County.

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