Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I got this title because it was so unique, and also because the people next door have one.

One of the most striking characteristics of the human race is it's inescapability. Try it sometime. Go to the far reaches of the earth, and find a nice little isolated spot. One that takes you a few weeks or months of trail breaking on foot to get to. Somewhere tranquil that you can be by yourself and just relax. When you get there close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Then exhale. Then open your eyes again. You will discover that you are now surrounded by roughly fifty people; forty eight of which are chatting about how nice and quiet the spot is and two of which are on cell phones trying to broker a subdivision.

I grew up and lived pretty much my whole life right in the heart of the capital city here. Then I decided I needed to not be in the heart of a city for awhile. I needed wind and sky and space. I moved to a quiet little trailer park far on the outskirts of a small city on the outskirts of that capital city. It was completely surrounded by fields of sweet smelling canola in every direction for miles around. I traded convenience for solitude. I successfully got away from it all.

It all found me again. Eight years down the road they started pouring concrete in the last field left this side of the highway. The solitude is completely gone. Only the inconvenience remains. Well, I guess being force fed a steady diet of franchises and box stores is a form of convenience. Kind of like fighting off a pack of rabid badgers is a form of exercise.

I had two hours to kill downtown in the capital city today. I wandered the familiar streets and realized that I'm still part of their landscape. I realized that I prefer a landscape peppered with obscene graffiti and garbage to one saturated in fast food chains and billboards. I prefer braking constantly for pedestrians and hunting for rare parking spots to blankly barreling across an unchanging landscape. I prefer old buildings that need some work done on them to brand new buildings that won't be worth repairing when they get old. I prefer strangers arguing in the street to everybody averting their eyes when they pass one another.

There is no alone in this world, so I might as well be home.

56 comments:

linlah said...

That first paragraph is exactly the way it works. There's a valley not far from me that used to host hot air ballon races and now it's full of houses.

e said...

Where I live now was once the home of trees, and the ocassional bovine...not so for about the last two decades and the traffic is horrendous. We human love to ruin nature it seems.

Jen R said...

I'm with you. I loves me some city and I loves me the country but suburbia is the worst of both worlds.

Stopping by from SITS, have a great day

http://www.myinnerfoodzilla.blogspot.com

Eva Gallant said...

I live in Maine and I swear I have the best of both!

Buckeroomama said...

I'm still in the city, but on the outskirts...and loving it. This is about as far away from the city I can get.

♥ Braja said...

Oh, that first paragraph? You're just DESCRIBING INDIA.

TheFrogBag said...

I couldn't agree more. I just moved from the heart of Hollywood to a house that is right in the middle of L.A. but is situated so that you can't actually see any L.A. The trade-off is that it also isn't too far from some rather inner-city (okay, gang) areas, but I prefer it to any part of the sprawlingly horrid suburbs a bit farther out!

HalfAsstic.com said...

"There is no alone in this world, so I may as well be home." that is priceless!
Great insight!

Tamara said...

Yep. I moved into a small, leafy, green area with lots of open space. Now a giant corporation wants to plonk a megastore next to my house on that open space. Next time we'll buy where there's no room next door.

secret agent woman said...

It's hard to watch the peaceful space become part of the urban sprawl.

So, are you moving?

Tabor said...

This is so terrifying. It is happening everywhere...except maybe the prairies of middle America. I just got back from Florida and will do a post on this in the future as it is one long gated community/golf course/shopping mall with a few tropical plants and animals being held hostage.

nick said...

I have to say that the obvious reason for this endless building on green space is the endless population increase. If more of us over the last century or so had resisted the temptation to create little versions of ourselves, a lot more of those idyllic landscapes would still be there and there would be less of the stained concrete and suburban bling.

And I do agree, I prefer a slightly anarchic urban hood to a pristine and sanitised rural retreat.

idgtm said...

Developer only see how much much $$ they can squeeze from a piece of land. I used to live on the outskirts...but, like you, it's been overrun with concrete and SUV's.

My name is PJ. said...

You're so true. The last two places we've lived had been our discoveries.....legions of people followed suit. Drat!!!

Brian Miller said...

i grew up on a hill on the outskirts of town, surounded by woods...what dreams lived in them, and then they chopped them down and built a distribution plant...i miss my woods...

BLOGitse said...

The same phenomenon is when you're the only customer in a shop/cafe etc. suddenly the place is packed...

BLOGitse

Kitty Moore said...

I am very much a city girl..warts and all!

Jazz said...

I have a cottage up in the country, it's all nice and "naturey" and stuff, but I couldn't survive without the city. I love the city, the grittiness, the anonymity, the availability of theatres, restaurants and such, the pace... For me it trumps country living every time.

As for the 'burbs - I lived there when I was growing up and as soon as I got out, I swore never again.

So, are you coming back to town?

Cathryn said...

I moved out of the big city to a small city--it's very small. Right now it's in danger of evaporating because it doesn't have any industy...

But I love the fact I live here and I'm not blanketed by smog and noise every day. Inconvenient--yes--but lovely to live again.

Where the Fur Flies said...

I spent 10 years in the heart of that same capital city. I think it's pretty great.

Where the Fur Flies said...

I spent 10 years in the heart of that same capital city. I think it's pretty great.

Robin said...

I live on the edge of the city ..in suburbia..so I have the best of both...What you say is so true..I think we need both to balance out our dual selves...!!

CambridgeLady said...

I like living in a proper market town with shops, leisure facilities, schools, etc but the big box retailers and dormitory towns (no facilities) are spreading too fast. I love oldness - after living in Oregon I came back to the UK and just wanted to hug all the old buildings!

SmartBear said...

You are readng my mind or something? The line about repairing a house not worth repairing. We built a house in the burbs...we hate it. We hate the burbs. Now we are on a quest to sell the house and move closer to the city. We take our kiddo into the city: museums, the fountains, etc...Don't get me wrong...we love to hike and camp and all that good stuff. In fact, we do it a lot. But they don't build houses like they used to and I am tired of living in a beige box in the burbs and super religious conservative talk (I live in Kansas....it comes with the territory). In the words of Zsha Zsha "darlin' I love ya but give me park avenue!".
T

Sarah P said...

Beautifully expressed.

Kay said...

well said.

Rebecca said...

I grew up in the heart of the the middle of nowhere. It took us about 100 miles to get to the nearest hospital/good doctors/malls/shopping/restaurants.....

Now, I live in the heart of a city (not a metropolitan type of place) but a much larger city none the less. I'm less than 30 minutes away from 3 very good pediatric hospitals and hundreds of chain restaurants along with mom and pop shops...and I love it!

AgyTalks said...

Love Your blog, you are so honest about your thoughts! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

http://agytalks.blogspot.com

Mrsblogalot said...

I live in the bathroom where there is always, at least give minutes of peace. No realtor alive can promise better these days (-;

Erika said...

So very eloquently put.

mythopolis said...

I live in the middle of nowhere in particular. I like it. Such a relief from artificial ideas of personal meaning. I don't know how I got here, but I will try to come back. And thanks for checking in on me, whoever you are! Dan

JenJen said...

always love reading you. I agree iwth linlah...that first para got me exactly spot on.

Jen @ After The Alter said...

oh no! I would be so mad! I guess you are just going to have to find the new isolated spot!! Visiting from SITS

Candice said...

I live in an area of Dallas that use to be nothing but wide open spaces just 10 years ago.

Now it's a bustling area with as much property built up as possible.

That being said, I'm not sure I want complete solitude. There are no malls there. ;)

I feel like I do have the best of both worlds. I don't have to drive far to appreciate the beautiful sunset in clear view if I want it.

dogimo said...

Wonderful post! Zen irritation.

Michele said...

What an incredible post!
Seriously, what a fabulous writer you are.
My story is similar, I moved from the big city to a smaller town about 20 years ago. i was close enough for convienience, but far enough away to get that "small town" feel.
That's all changed now... and I don't like it one bit.

LadyFi said...

Such a shame that it is so hard to be alone! Well, apart from Sweden where I live - here you can have just pine trees and snow and elks for company.. and solitude is easy to come by.

daisyfae said...

i like 'away from it all' and certainly enjoy 'it all'. but who enjoys "Generica" - strip malls (all have tanning salons, nail salons and check cashing stores in my part of the world), fast food and big boxes o'retail?

you summarize it very nicely...

Nessa said...

I make my aloneness in my own house in comfort. I can be very good at ignoring.


One Single Impression - Insomnia

Secretia said...

Isn't it sad that people we recognize avert their eyes like that, to avoid any contact.

Secretia

Oklahoma Granny said...

I had to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog. Please come again soon - you're always welcome.

I've enjoyed reading several of your posts this morning. You certainly have a way with words.

"And so our stories go..." said...

You are so right. Humans remind me of ants building ant hills. I can not stand crowds. That's why I stay home a lot.
Mary

Akelamalu said...

We live near a 'green belt' so only have to walk for 10 minutes away from home to be in the 'open'. I love it. :)

Leona said...

RE: Thanks for the comment :)

True; we are never really alone in this world.

Kathy Sprinkle said...

Thanks for stopping by Everyday Bliss! Totally grateful you did! And now that you have I guess I will begin stalking you as I have become a follower!> It is totally fun here, I will visit often!

Red Hamster said...

Very thought-provoking. I get what you are saying...and sad that there seems to be no quiet little spots left unfilled by subdivisions any more.

Unknown Mami said...

I got this comment from the recycle bin, but I didn't rinse it off. I hope it's okay.

I was at my eye doctors looking at the counters wondering why anyone would bother putting in things that fall apart so quickly.

Emily said...

Absolutely! I can't stand urban sprawl. Not only does it bother me that we're building on every inch of available land, but I also hate the way we're losing so much quirky, local character along the way. When I'm in a place, I like to know where I am and I like it to feel different somehow from what I've seen before. Does that make sense?

So, are you moving?

JoeyRes said...

I just moved away from Cranberry Twp., PA - the capital of over-development. I now drive farther to get to stuff but it takes the same amount of time. I don't think humans can handle being truly alone. Look at Tom Hanks in Cast Away. He made a basketball his imaginary friend.

cabin + cub said...

I actually like the hustle and bustle of the city too.
Although, I also like the peace and serene.. how true though that in the remotest place, someone always seems to pop out of nowhere. ;)

Tara said...

That is so true! Your opening paragraph said it all. We pay tons of money to go on vacation and see solitude and relaxation. But millions of other people are doing the same thing. Ha!

Cathryn said...

I wanted to tell you that I've passed on the Sunshine Award to you! Please visit my blog for details! Congratulations!

otin said...

I always have people approach me when I am trying to eat lunch or write something. You are absolutely right! There is no escape, unless of course, you need some help moving something, then no one will ever be around! LOL

Adventure Rob said...

I have spent the past few months travelling in Australia and I can tell you there is some isolated places here. Almost the same space as the USA, but with 1/10 of the population, isolation can be found with a few hours drive away.

gayle said...

I really understand this post...we moved from a small town to the county many years ago and now the town came to us!

Susan said...

"Kind of like fighting off a pack of rabid badgers is a form of exercise."

hehehehe...I'm still laughing at that line!

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