Thursday, October 08, 2009
My geography is city.
I love a soft rain hitting city streets, mingling with dust of concrete, dirt washed from tall buildings, and sand in the gutters leftover from ancient snowplowing, creating a subtle and pleasant fragrance available only in an urban center.
I enjoy the smell of asphalt while it's being laid, and then again during intense heat, giving off its tarry aroma for benefit of those who aren't afraid to breathe deep the city's soul.
My spirit soars when I encounter greenery unexpected, public spaces filled with surprising nature, the truly stunning nature of a ballpark when one is young and sees the field for the first time. It is love at first sight.
I walk the streets and know them in the way that cowboys of old knew the trails they rode. They interpreted signs in the dirt and the sky. I register, in my subconscious, things-out-of-place. They avoided rattlers and other natural dangers. I know when to avoid an alley and watch my back. I also know when it's okay to walk without care.
The sound of traffic is background noise, not heard until it reaches a certain startling level (or until a new sound is introduced, perhaps police sirens.)
The neighborhood sounds of my youth...
... the steel wheels of the Mattapan trolley squealing as it rounded the bend leaving Ashmont...
... the church bells that tolled the hour, every hour...
... the whistles that called men to the local factories, and blew again when lunch hour was over and when it was time to go home...
... are all embedded forever in my psyche.
My geography is city. Specifically, Boston.
[Most of the shots are actually of Boston, but a couple aren't. However, they convey the sense of what I wanted to say better than any Boston shots I could find, so I used them, instead. As near as I can understand it, all of the photos used here were free for me to use under the GNU Free Documentation License. If that turns out to not be the case, my next geography may be jail.]