Wednesday, January 9, 2013


"London isn't a city to get to know with a check list of "must-see's." It is meant to be wandered and explored. Take the serendipitous route. You never know what you might discover."
--M. Povlock

"Big Ben must be like the Dome: it looks beautiful all the time, and you never stop taking pictures of it"

Big Cities terrify me.
And I am easily terrified.
If there's one thing I've learned about myself over the past week, it's that I am as pigeon-livered as Hamlet. 
Not a day has gone by that I have not thrown myself in agony on my rose-print coverlet of my comfy bed, now far away back in homey Minnesnowta, and let my bootless cries rise to the deaf heavens: why oh why oh why oh whyyy did I ever decide to willingly exile myself to a foreign land where I will probably Die of Something Awful. (I am majoring in Cowardice, with a double concentration in Paranoia and Hyperbole)

As a journey begins, no matter what lies at the end, what lies at the beginning is death. Embarking on a journey means the self that you were comes to an end. It will no longer be. And it means opening yourself up to the self that you are becoming and will become.
And that is rather terrifying.
Like Big Cities.
Big Cities are overwhelming. Anything that's overwhelming means that it is, by definition  larger than you, because it completely astounds and envelops you in its all-ness. You can immediately grasp what it is exactly that this city is all about. It's a mystery for a while--it doesn't reveal itself to you right away; it draws you in, and overwhelms you with the million beautiful sights lying around every street corner. There's far more to see than can ever be seen; and more to do than could ever possibly be done. 
(I suppose Big Cities just illuminate that particular facet of the circle of life brilliantly.)

And, once I drop my paranoia, and warm my cold feet with a healthy dose of wandering, I find that the overwhelming mystery of a Big City is an invitation. It's an invitation to let this city make its mark on who I am; to embrace the adventure of being molded by London. I ache to become acquainted with every inch of ground of every little street or alley of this city.
Because, really, that was my desire all along. 
That stubborn little fire of desire persisted through all fears and worries, and lead me here--
to a bridge over the Thames, watching Big Ben light up the violescent night sky, interrupted by the skyline of London. 
Whatever deaths have brought me here--this is definitely a beginning.

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