Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday Night Meditations on City Living

I feel an inherent dichotomy in my bones.

I am a girl raised in suburbs who thrives in city, but my city living has always been warmly flanked by opportunities to spread my wings in quiet places.

My growing up is a rolladex of camping trips, making secret promises creekside, plans to bike the vertical length of the Western coast. The semi-suburban 4 years of college life were softened by the green space, by the river, by the ability to escape into nothingness. Even life in DC was punctuated by a close proximity (in each stage, with each house-mate, in each apartment) to the alive and exhilarating Rock Creek park - the perfect escape for city-bound button-ups. Even now, I can admit that my interest in the location of the L, grocery and liquor stores, is really appreciated when compared to my easily accessible Lake Front Path. To the choppy quiet of the lake. The city is a place where I feel my most me, but it is only so because I can escape the noise and combat any time I desire with the solace of the lake.

The city provides me with the feeling of independence - the long desired need to feel unreliant on anyone or anything, but I mostly love the city because it provides room for comparison. I love extremes - I am not a "gray" person. I love the black, and I love the white - the gray is not enough of either. I cannot appreciate the vastness of black and white from the middle of the gray.

I think that I could give up my big lake for a small lake. I could live a life where my day to day was the Lake Front Path, and my escape was the city. Where I could see and feel and breathe the comparison from the other side. Where my Tuesday was a time for wooded trails and quiet, and my weekends were occupied with the cacophony of traffic and crowded bars. I think I could exist with the city as punctuation - as an exclamation mark - I think the black and white could remain just as starkly bright, contrasting, and mesmerizing from the other side of the line.

In the same way that I love the city, I think I could love being away from it.

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