A Weekend In The City

I went to the city to escape the rush of country storms, the traffic on the busy major road near my home, the constant, silent, absence of others. I went to the city to be near human things, to be near buildings and waste paper, and overflowing bins, and people, and pets, and storefronts lit up like Christmas trees full of promise and life.

To be surrounded by this stuff, and not to fall into it: that’s the challenge of modern life. It’s necessary nowadays to become immune to this odd construct we’ve built for ourselves, outside of nature, full of concrete and curved tarmac lines and “for sale” signs. You can live in the countryside forever and never learn how this new, alien half of human culture operates; I went to the city to wake up to the realities of our situation. I went to the city to learn.

We tell ourselves that we’ve overcome hunger; we tell ourselves that we’ve overcome poverty. But look around: there are whole buildings full of things that millions of people will never be able to afford, whole cities full of the vapour of a culture so commercial it’s nowadays occupying itself with the commoditisation of parenting, for example. We need to let go of the simplistic view that pure, peaceful nature can save us from the ravages of petroleum, pornography, advertising, war – we need to accept the bad places in our brave new world, and go meet them face to face.

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Photos by Sean Foley and Justin Lim on Unsplash.

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UK, male, objective (approximately). My views are always my own.

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