Outlets

I live in a city. I exist in a state that can only come with living in a city: Fast, frenzied, anonymous, and self-conscious.

I take an underground train two blocks long under a river every day, and another one back, trying my hardest not to look anyone in the eye. I have become an expert at snap judgments based solely on shoes.

I shop at an upscale supermarket where the brands are all the same. The closest I come to knowing where my food comes from is peeking through the semi-transparent car wash streamers that separate the spotless laminate aisles from the dingier high-stocked shelves and dollies.

My parents came from suburban cities. Their parents fled countryside and coal mines for the suburban cities as soon as they came of age.

My clothes come from discount stores, made by small hands in small countries. My furniture comes from Ikea, my mother’s, or along the roadside on garbage day. I watch far too much internet television, and have far too few conversations. My only experience in animal husbandry is my tuxedo cat.

And yet I have a burning desire to pick up a shovel, a rake, a hoe, a trowel and dirty my fingernails tout suite. My hands cramp up without the clods of dirt they long to crumble. My back aches from the weight of too few stones to move and firewood to haul. There is a hole in my chest which I know can only be filled by a bundle of raw wool.

I have the affliction that has infected the hearts of urban-dwellers since urban lands first had dwellers: I want to return to the land.

This blog is my outlet, my memoir and manual as I attempt to rediscover what my grandparents wanted desperately to forget. It will contain my frustrations and my labors, my failures and my successes. Here’s hoping it’s a blog around for a while.

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