The Beautiful Places by Kathleen Norrish


A brief summary of this essay

In the essay, Norrish describes her experience of the Dakota landscape where she had lived almost twenty years. Her life in this landscape is the subject of her recent book of creative nonfiction.

In the essay, she provides a comprehensive look into the significance of Dakota in her life as a spiritual topography.  However, she provides a comprehensive look into the significance of Dakota in her life as a spiritual topography. She seems appreciating beauty.

This is a simplistic, environmental, almost transcendental view of the world.  Therefore this made her move from New York to South Dakota through the weather is very harsh, minimum opportunities.

Norrish compares herself with the way how monks separate from artificiality epiphany. After that, she expresses her experience of being in the object that belongs to that place. She is talking about how nature is like in Dakota.

Even visitors ask questions “Why people chose to live in such empty places?” Civilization denies it is the place of loneliness and inheritance.

Living in Dakota is like a scarecrow being lonely and she sees of respect in her own land. She wants to preserve the Dakota culture.

Norrish defined Dakota as the connection between history, geography, and culture.  Even Her husband was a freelancer who could not identify and connect spatiality to Dakota.

The tradition carries ancient values. This is the place for hope; everyone can get a sense of hope and essay is the subjective description of that place.

Myth and Truth

She talks about the tension between myth and truth in Dakota. She argues that hope and stability are there. There is no counter of cultures like in other places.  Similarly, there is a single culture which is the place is the loss of our own identity and she advocates for placidness.


In conclusion, Even the events of Dakota are miraculous and here is a sublime in the physical landscape of Dakota. She goes to that place and finds the deep meaning of inheritance.  She finds miraculous within the hardship, barrenness and where she finds the meaning of nature. In addition, it is spiritual geography and the world of human presence.