Monday 20 February 2012: City Lights
I have lived in cities almost all my life, and I'm still thrilled by them. When I go out at night and walk in the city, I feel tingly and grown-up, naughty and rebellious.
When I look out over a city, even a small city such as Portland, I feel reverence for all that life:
for single people in their small apartments, their blue computer screens flickering in their windows,
for families shouting at each other to clean up the mess, do the dishes, find the remote, get off the phone, finish your homework,
for those who clean office buildings, those who drive trucks, those who drive ambulances or nurse the sick,
for baristas in the coffee shops and for barkeeps, for clerks at Powell's Book Store and at Fred Meyer's Grocery,
for prostitutes and what drives them to it, for homeless people lined up at the missions,
for people in their cars in the rain, for walkers whose footsteps I can hear on the concrete,
for passengers in the streetcar that rattles and zings past my windows,
for passengers in trains that whistle in the night or in planes that disappear into the clouds.
I feel how much attempt there is in a city, I feel dreams and the energy of assignations, I feel heartbreak and disappointment, I feel exhaustion and boredom and rage and tenderness and all that is alive and thrumming with possibility.
The countryside is very beautiful to be sure, but I wouldn't want to live there.