My City

A city that outdistances man’s walking powers is a trap for man.

Arnold Joseph Toynbee

I am lucky to be living in a city, which is very walkable. Dublin is a big city, but it does not feel like a concrete jungle. A huge part of it has remained unchanged for centuries, so it doesn’t have the geometric and concrete qualities of other more modern cities in Europe. The Covid-19 lockdown has made it even more accessible for a quiet walk, enjoying the historic atmosphere.

I had never spent so much time walking around the city as I did in the past 3 months. It has been a very relaxing and intimate experience. Rarely before I felt so present and so observant when walking on the streets of Dublin. I would catch myself noticing buildings and architectural details that I had never noticed before, even on my own street in the city center. It was the only place I could be in, the countless potential possibilities to escape were gone, the limitless choice which is so unsettling sometimes was gone. All I had is the present moment and the present space and the only option was to look more closely and discover more in what was already before me. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from this experience. In our heads we are constantly somewhere else in a world of countless opportunities, while we are actually absent from our present lives. As it happens sometimes an imperfect reality is better than a imaginary one.

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