This last week, before falling asleep, I’ve reveled in the quiet, the silence. As I walked through town my eyes drank up the green, the nature, the river. Sometimes I truly feel like I live in Paradise.
I can forget that sometimes. It’s easy when you don’t live in a super sexy place like Berlin, London, Paris or New York. Yes, New York. That’s where I spent a week at the end of last month, and it left me shattered, just shattered. So big, so loud, such a constant assault on the senses. I know the big apple is the soul city of so many people on this planet, but it’s not mine. I left feeling completely drained of life force rather than energized. I was not in an Empire State of Mind.
I wondered if it’s because I’m getting, ahem, older. It’s not. At 18 I fled to San Francisco from what always felt as the vast isolation of my home town, Los Angeles. Sometime in my mid-twenties I fled to the East Bay (sort of the Bay Area’s version of Brooklyn) because it was just getting ‘too crazy’ in San Francisco. I think of Chicago as one of America’s greatest big cities. I’ve always loved Portland, Oregon (way before Portlandia was a thing).
So I realized, that’s what it is for me: I need to live in a city – and it does need to be a city – that is human scale. Much to my surprise (as someone whose never considered herself to be outdoorsy) My soul needs to be surrounded with reminders that I’m living on an organic, living, breathing planet; rivers, mountains, ocean, lots of blue sky side by side with all the trappings of urbane life.
I always thought it was kind of a cosmic fluke that I was born and raised in L.A. Now it feels like kind of a happy cosmic accident that I ended up making my home in a city I’m so compatible with, knowing so little about it before moving to it.
Just had to get that down.