Monday, June 21, 2010

The Burbs

I live in the suburbs. Now, when I say suburbs, I don't mean a little town that popped up organically. I live in a town that was completely planned. The town is split into sections by the alphabet and each street in eache section starts with the complimentary letter. We moved here when I was a kid, after my parents divorced.

Prior to that and every summer following, I was in Portland. Not a huge city for sure, but a city nonetheless. My dad stayed up there and I always enjoyed the freedom and endless exploration a city could bring. Each year as I got older I hated the burbs more and more. I counted down the day to when I could move out and get away.

As I got older my dad moved away from Portland into a very rural area. As an adult, I also chose to live out in the sticks for awhile, but certain circumstances brought be back to the same suburban town I despised so much. Right now, I sit at the border of a planned community and a rural organic township. When people ask where I live I tell them the rural township, even though, technically, I live in the planned suburb. (Oh the embarrassment!)

The burbs have neither the soul of the city, nor the heart of the country. The burbs dont' fit in either category. A misfit village full of people caught up in watching the latest reality television to help fill void of their meaningless consumer driven lives. At least that is what I thought....

For reasons I won't go into, I took a shower at my sisters house the other day. She lives just a few blocks away from me. As I was lather, rinsing, and repeating my eyes focused on a huge tree in her back yard that can be seen from her tiny bathroom window. For a moment I forgot that I was in the burbs. For a moment I was able to pretend that I was in the country. For a moment that one lone tree was a forest just on the other side of the wall. When I turned in the other direction I saw a satellite dish. For some reason the view of electronics made me think of the city. Of fast motions and loud noises. And for a moment I thought the hustle and bustle of the city was on the other side of the wall.

These two things exist in one place....that is when it struck me. The most magickal places are the liminal spaces. The ones that are neither here, nor there. The places that are not one, nor the other. Really the suburbs are a liminal space, between the country and the city. There is beauty and motion here. What an interesting development....

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