online: 29 november 2011
modified: 25, 28, 29 november 2011

25 november 2011 public places

sandy heath

...on a seat commemorating:
Renata and Howard Clewes
from Milan, Florence and Tahiti to Hampstead
...and here am i from Aberystwyth, Manchester, London (and other places)...

...and now at a non-geographic location: softopia, my public writing place...

...which comes to life on this and other seats in the city forest... and sometimes in other forests in other cities arbitrary and accidental are the places where we settle... and from which we visit others... for in industrial life we belong everywhere... assisted by jetplanes, broadcasting and computernets... and the dissolving of nationality as we gradually (despite resistance) become citizens of
'the earth, the universe (or cosmos)' we may have written our addresses as children... the universe as if awaiting the human animal, robot or avatar... or other beings from the earth... which is itself a part of the universe... and the source of these words...

Hannah Arendt (in her book The Human Condition, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1958) quotes this remark:
Mankind will not remain bound to the earth forever.
of Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky, 1911, amongst his many anticipations of space technology (and carved on his memorial)

already the sun is down and air is getting cold... which calls me to stop writing and to walk away while there is light of dusk... in the penumbra of earth-night...

...through the trees i see a light flashing at a pedestrian crossing... and above is the stratosphere containing aircraft from which forests and cities and seas and agricultural land (etc) look so much smaller than they do from here... while beneath and beyond us still is outer space and universe with its scientifically defined components bordering on fiction:

proton, anti-proton, neutron, quark... constellation, galaxy, light-year... big-bang...

(from the vocabularies of particle physics and astrophysics)

highest point
the city now looks etherial in the dusk and mist... while the rooftops of the Vale of Health look superreal (and even ghostly) among the treetops...i sit for a moment... before me the gorse bushes are growing out of roots already in darkness at this arbitrary moment on the earth... itself an arbitrary spot in outer space... ...but the city lights in the distance...and the lights in windows nearby... and this finger tapping out the l e t t e r s... surely these are not arbitrary... to so describe one's circumstance is surely mistaken...

...feeling cold wind on my neck i shut down the handheld and go... to somewhere else... to the rest of one's life... as does everyone!

...after which he returns home and goes to sleep...

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