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Admiring the skyline...

One of the many wonderful things about cities is that there are so many things in aesthetic conversation with another. As we walk, new arrangements reveal themselves, compelling pictures materialize at each vewpoint--should we move slowly enough to witness them.

Today I took my camera for a walk down a quiet road I had not been down before. I wound through several corners of the city, rising and falling in elevation along the way. I didn't worry about getting lost, I worried about finding places I have not yet seen. Ramallah is small enough that one can only walk so far before happening on someplace familiar.

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The streets in this part of town felt wide and the landscape wider still, mostly unpopulated under the intense mid-day sun. The skies are huge like they are back home over the Colorado plains. The buildings, as I have mentioned before, are mostly all made of the same limestone and are nearly invariably cube-like. They jut out like teeth from the soft ridges of the hillish landscape, and they are relentless. One of the most populous cities in the West Bank, I haven't yet found a view in Ramallah that is not bespeckled with square buildings.

I am reminded of how I sometimes felt while walking around Los Angeles, admiring the strangely detailed skyline coating the hills of East LA, and of walking along the Seine and feeling a little something while looking at how the ornate ridges of the Parisian buildings poke the clear blue summer beyond them. I feel a stroke of grattitude to be here, to be able to admire the composition of yet another city against the empty azure as I have many times before.

There is poetry in the negative spaces, between the buildings. They give your eyes a place to rest, a place for the stories of the street to pool up and wait to be found. They find communion with the emptiness inside all of us. Through these unlikely spaces the sky gets in and fills our bellies with it's openness. It's how the city welcomes me in, and how I welcome in the city.

Posted in Transportation/Automotive Post Date 07/03/2015


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