We travel as we live, in straight lines if possible, from A to B from birth to death, along a prescribed path which abstract concepts such as faith, fate, luck or chance can divert us from. We all undertake regular journeys; walking the dog, traveling to work (or not), going to the supermarket or the corner shop, taking the kids to school. Such routine tasks, day in, day out, robotic, unthinking, autopilot moments in our lives as they are now.
I think of other routes and pathways; those from childhood, those from schooldays, from fatherhood. We walk alone, along our paths (no matter what the koppites say!), it’s your path, no one else’s and you can step off or stay on, consciously or unconsciously, you can make detours and diversions, create exits and cul de sacs, follow the map of your internal and external desires and motivations.
The city is partitioned as are our lives, the landscape of our lives are routed in memory and myth, we exaggerate and select stories about ourselves, we edit our history each day, who we are, what we are; fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, strangers, we partition ourselves and pass through zones as artificial as our supposed ‘souls.’
The city is quartered, butchered, enclosed, controlled, castrated, occupied. The city is visited by tenants and tourists, workers and wardens, those who pass through, those who supervise, those who wander, those who observe, those who survive in amongst the ruins of the future, those who wallow in the triumphs of the past, those who fence off the city as they fence off their emotions, according to function, according to prejudice, the multi-modal zone that restricts, divides, protects, oppresses.
The city is filled with colonists, some older than others but colonists nevertheless and the reservations that surround the centre stretch away into the distance, the gravitational pull decreasing with every mile so that time itself slows to a dull pulse, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, the ghosts of the living and the buildings of the dead interface on the surface of the city.