It’s been years since I automatically (really, more like mechanically) personified cities in my mind. Prague was always hard to capture, yet so familiar. Prague always felt like a cold hand on my shoulder. When I think about Prague, it is always in the winter or late autumn when the night are is freezing even inside your lungs. Prague felt lonely and misunderstood and tired of standing up. Prague was just there and then it wasn’t.
Santa Fe felt bright and comforting like a thick, New Mexican blanket. Santa Fe is temperamental and solid, free to roam, hike, and laugh out laud. Free to run away, pause in thought, and cry hoarsely. It feels substantial in my mind, like a place that is able to carry on without me in it. It has a spice to it and fervor of intellectual discussion. There is so much curiosity and above all desire to persevere and be heard.
Oxford felt both incredibly old and young. The lofty spires with years of grime erected high above the every day disarray of life, though, and sex. Every one had a purpose there, going from one place to the next with a clear idea as to where and why they were carried. Oxford felt like coming back home. Oxford felt celebrated and like it celebrated you for just being there, allowing its tradition to continue unperturbed. Oxford rarely cared about life behind its towers, for better or worse, not because it was too proud to acknowledge it but rather because it was just so full of its own rules, passions, and ideas. Oxford felt like it will stay the same for centuries, old and new, leaving its doors open to welcome us back home again.
Wroclaw felt eclectic yet recognizable. It wasn’t a place of many surprises but it did have its daily dose of absurdism. Despite the beauty of the place and its universal charm in cheap beer and quirky bars, it felt isolated and left to get on with its life. The language that flowed through the streets was recognizable and foreign at the same time. And even in its recognition, it only ever brought a feeling of dread like the old cold hand of Prague on my shoulder. It didn’t feel neither here nor there. The days slowly followed the past, with a life made easier for some and harder for others.
Sydney feels like a place that could become home one day. It spreads itself large and wanting from the ocean to the mountains. Its weather is as temperamental and varied as the people flowing through the streets, taking in the minutes of sun with a pointed look over the waters. It feels dynamic yet wistful, like it is both in its most defining years and already lived through the full history of what it could be. Sydney feels like it is in a constant state of becoming. It basically invites you to pack your meagre belongings and move to the next suburb over to experience Sydney like never before. It gives you the choice to make it your own, yet leaves enough conveniences along the way so you never feel lost in your artistry. It doesn’t give you a meaning nor does it urge you to discover one; it simply lets you live, with or without one, whoever you were born and whoever you will die.