Wednesday, 15 July 2009
On the edge
I was out walking for a couple of hours on a new route I've been taking, which finds me right on the edge of one side of town for long stretches.
There's an irresistible combination of bleakness and beauty, lots of juxtapositions which seem to enhance certain elements of one's surroundings rather than to drown them out.
The silence, when encountered, is both surprising and pleasantly eerie. A jolt after all the shouting voices, and the heavy bass sounds emanating from stereo systems secreted in tower blocks or passing cars.
The space is expansive - not despite, but because of the tower blocks, pylons and power lines which frame the skyline.
The last road, on the very border: towerblockaftertowerblockafterestatehousingaftertowerblockthentheroad
andthen.... grass, fields, the presence of a breeze as indicated by the fact that things such as trees are there to sway in it.
I love the sense of being on the edge of something, there's a certain allure or romance to it. The proximity of something different. The closeness of something often presumed distant. When walking through these places, my imagination similarly wanders, and I often wonder what it would be like to have witnessed or experienced places which, at certain times in recent history, were really and substantially on the edge or at intersections - whether geographically, politically or both.
Trieste, or maybe Vienna in the early post-war years. Or perhaps Vladivostok.
Then I remember I'm within a relatively short walking distance from home: perhaps just as well, I can easily imagine experiencing sheer information overload otherwise.