Things Happen in Places

Things happen, and they happen in places. They don’t just happen. I could probably riff on like that for a while, some odd little trumpet solo (I do play the trumpet, in case that sounds a little too gratuitous). But things happen in places. Many things, once they’ve happened, I can’t imagine them having happened anywhere else.
     I’m in a new town training and something seems to have come into focus for me rather differently than I ever imagined it would. It’s something arising from the people I’m with, and something from the people who aren’t here in person but who very much are in my thoughts. But would I be feeling and thinking as I am now if I hadn’t walked in from Stony Stratford this morning, wondering when I’d look at something and not notice the design  of it. Not the look of it but the design; not the sense of the building, the road, the artifical lake, the fence, the oversized technopark shed thing itself but of the lines, the shapes and the forms its maker saw?
     After leaving the old village where I found a room (there’s a network rail conference going on at the training venue and the attendees appear to have spilled into  almost every hotel I rang. They were playing Spirit in the Sky at Lunch Time; the version by Dr and the Medics.)  everything seems so new: everything living’s coming into leaf or bloom now its spring; almost everything built’s been around for less time than me. And I’m not that old. It’s so strange, looking around me and wanting to see something from before me. I could say there’s the earth but first there’s the grass … and the trees, most of the trees, they seem young.
     I feel so outside of here it’s peculiar. I’m not surprised a lens has somehow sharpened, turned, kaleidoscoped. Every so often we need to unplug and reconfigure in strangeness without our comforts and securities, and I’ve always found that most possible when there’s only a slight twist to things. Not another country or another culture but this country and a pocket in this culture. Too strange and somehow hatches are battoned down. This way something nearly tricks me into believing nothing’s changed – and even when I see the differences there’s a lag in my believing; a disbelief I can’t control in the idea that it’s not the same.
     I tell myself this is different and what seems similar shines back at me in a slightly gaudy way, a bit of a dream. And a whole way of thinking becomes clear that had previously kept itself at least half-obscure.

 

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