Writing the City

– Heard the bass ride out like an ancient mating call/I can’t take it y’all, I can feel the city breathing (Black Star)

I finally fell in love with this city. It took 10 years for it to happen, for me to appreciate this terrain for what it is, its callousness, its indifference. I spent many years waiting to see a different side of Toronto, something provocative, promising passion or even some form of kindness. Instead, it showed me the most difficult moments in my adult life, tore me down with a coldness that left me frozen, stagnant. And at my worst, when I needed glitter, some glorious distraction to bring some kind of movement back into my life, it offered me nothing. I was forced to sit with myself, in a solitude so atrocious: and in stillness, I found movement. I began to understand this city and how it moved, it’s syncopations, the offbeat moments that held the deepest intimacy. I found sentiment in the slightest gestures, when least expected. It was in the most mundane, unglamorous instances that this city held me close.

2 responses to “”

  1. this is how i feel about NYC… i “earned” the right to live there and enjoy it, based on years of swimming upstream in a downward current, grumbling all the way.
    There’s beauty in the rhythm of a vast, cold, unyielding city.
    Someone described NYC as a person: One day she pushed me down on the pavement and kicks my wounds, the next day she holds me close and licks them…

    I ❤ this,
    reading from Vancouver.

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