Monday, May 26, 2008


I decided that at heart I'm an urban soul. I simply thrive off of the chaos and commotions, the swirling stuff that elates my senses and enlivens my step. I love the Tube, I love the dirty streets, I love the diversity, I love how there are so many tiny pieces that go into making the city run like it does. And most of all I love that I am, in some microscopic way, a part of that.

This is a living city. Sometimes it feels like the city itself takes on characteristics of a breathing human soul. It signs, it groans, it lets loose and at night it sleeps. The city sometimes seems awake and anxious. Other times I feel like it's trudging. It must be the little parts that make this so, as if all the people are like cells coursing through its veins, just as real and as vital as the blood coursing through mine.


In all the noise and tumult I sometimes crave the silence. It makes the moments where I can steal away for a few hours and sit with nothing chiming, ringing or whizzing past, no one talking, or laughing or singing . . . I just want to be. Just. Be.

Sunday night I felt as if a claustrophobic vice had pinned me in a prison of disorder and clamor. I wanted to escape by myself, find sanctuary in the grass and the leaves, run. But after the sun sets, leaving the center means having a companion and I simply couldn't stand for one. I needed to write. I needed to think. I needed to pray. Outloud. But where? Where in this cramped space of over 50 souls who, as best as they try not to, step on toes. I tried the library but it seemed to be filled with a cacophony of ticks and taps as 8 pairs of hands banged away at 4 keyboards. I tried the parlor. I tried the porch. But windows up and down the streets were open and people were walking by. Cars were zooming fast and before I could close myself into a ball of solitude sirens started sounding.

I walked inside and felt lost but let my feet carry me down. I ended up in the laundry room. Alone to my thoughts. Alone to commune. Alone to write and think and read and do all the things that I couldn't find the capacity to carry out with the weight of others breathe on my neck.


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