Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tales of the Lost and Never Found;
(Or, "75 Miles from Home")

Along with traffic, the thing I most despise about city life is the lack of starlight.

But it often takes a trip away from the twinkling towers and lackluster train tunnels for it to hit me...


Like stretching out of my car after 150 miles of strip malls, cracked pavement and open fields.

Looking up, breathing in, and losing my breath to the constellations showering me from above: no buildings, no smog, no sirens.


Just me and these celestial bodies, communicating with a sigh.

Shakespeare wrote about these stars, I remember. And the Greeks prayed to them.

And yet the majority of the people on this planet live in places where the stars are foreign objects. And it occurs to me, suddenly, that there may be people in this world who have never been exposed to a sky as brilliant and beautiful as this.

But can I blame them? Myself sometimes so bored with this... countryside. One can only do so much camping and hiking and photography of delapidated barns and old gravesites

before the dull allure of the city calls once more: the people, the sounds, the places.


The movies and the moving,


the actors and the acting.



But it is comforting to know -- on particularly dark nights -- that there is a world beyond this... city of cold shoulders.


That even when the stares turn indifferent and you feel entirely and utterly alone, that there is... something more. Something beyond this city, where some days there seems so little gap to mind.


But there is good and bad in both, you remember. You are happy in no single place, but in a world of ever-changing places.

But you are tired of moving, you think. Tired of searching for things you never seem to find: tired of filling in gaps with more gaps, bandaging old wounds with new ones.

But there is no salve for this feeling. No cure for this... cold.

Like turning your car from the town where you grew up towards the city in which you live and wondering if — ever — you will carry your bags across a doorstep.

And call a place "home."

17 comments:

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

So the main title to this post was inspired in part by a song that includes the line "lost and never found." Can't for the life of me remember the song right now, but I'll give the artist proper credit whenever I track it down.

Woodrow said...

It's Ryan Bingham.

Unacademic Advisor said...

You are one of the few people who is keenly aware of how this post hits me hard... where I live, so to speak. :)

Thanks. You said it very well.

disgruntled world citizen said...

i could of used more stars last night.

M@ said...

This city of cold shoulders.... Love it.

And I love the beauty of the those city lights just as much as the stars.... Anyway, that's a great story.

bookfraud said...

what a beautiful post. there is no cure for this cold indeed.

the view of chicago's skyline, driving up lake shore drive at night, is something no city on earth can compete with, not ny, not london, paris, tokyo. but living in a city and loving astronomy is bad thing.

bookfraud said...

what a beautiful post. there is no cure for this cold indeed.

the view of chicago's skyline, driving up lake shore drive at night, is something no city on earth can compete with, not ny, not london, paris, tokyo. but living in a city and loving astronomy is bad thing.

bookfraud said...

what a beautiful post. there is no cure for this cold indeed.

the view of chicago's skyline, driving up lake shore drive at night, is something no city on earth can compete with, not ny, not london, paris, tokyo. but living in a city and loving astronomy is bad thing.

bookfraud said...

shite, sorry about the repeats (three-peat?). not sure how that happened.

MelO said...

Beautiful post!! I am trying to learn how to sit with the gaps and just be... instead of trying to fill it with more gaps.

This really hit home for me. Thanks.

Meh said...

Honestly, I've never thought of this city as being cold. Granted, we're not perfect either, but I've always felt very peaceful and content when I see my skyline and know I'm home.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Woodrow - You are correct, Sir. Thanks for the reminder.

Un Ad - Home is where the Fergus is.

DWC - I feel that way most nights. But why last night in particular?

M@ - I thought about saving that line for a more formal "Response to Carl Sandburg" but when ahead and used it here. Which isn't to say I won't use it again... And, yeah, there's an allure to the city lights as well, I must admit. It's just that I can't go too long with one and not the other.

Bookfraud - That is quite an experience, I must admit.

MelO - Thank you -- glad you could relate.

Meh - Then you never visited my last apartment in the dead of winter. :) Honestly, though, it's not this city in particular... it's cities in general. If you grow up in the rural Midwest, there's no replacing the friendly "help thy neighbor" mentality. In the city, everyone is afraid of everyone else — or thinks it's none of their business. Or thinks the next guy along will help. Or that it's someone else's problem. Etc.

Anonymous said...

Finding a home isn't simple. The last time I felt "at home" was two days last May. Before that, it had been over seven years. Sometimes you just have to call it good at "a roof over my head".
~BPP

ds said...

some thoughts

my only home will ever be some small place between the river and 500 west. pulaski county. between water and gravel. anyway...

chicago scares the hell out of me. so does kokomo.

next - that kid with the gun. been there. only the kid I dealt with didn't smile (ever) and it was a shotgun.

good post. wish shit was better for you.

later.

XOXO said...

It's funny how you think there's got to be something better out there. Once you get there, you realize you were just as content when you started. Honestly, I don't know if I'll ever find a home-home like 100E.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

BPP - Refresh my memory. What happened in May? And some days, just calling it a "roof" isn't enough...

DS - Thanks! Me too...

XOXO - I'm not sure "content" is the word I'd use, but I get what you're saying.

Stacy said...

Nicely done, Dorothy!