Once in his life, a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
– N. Scott Momaday, "XXIV" from "The Way to Rainy Mountains"
Classical antiquity recognized just four elements — air, earth, water and fire — from which everything had been made. These four no longer explain the world, but they retain, at least for me, a poetic capacity — a way of wondering upon where I am.
D. J. Waldie is the author of "Becoming Los Angeles: Myth, Memory, and a Sense of Place." This series of essays called “Elemental L.A.” explores an Angeleno “sense of place” using the four classical elements as guides.