>That Big City Feeling


On a summer morning, when you walk along the street and people are beginning their days, you get the big city feel. It’s inspired by sirens, or by the smiling face of another stroller, and it says to you, welcome, welcome to life, this hot day is another of many that you have been blessed with, and not just you, but millions of you, all beginning their days to do different things, in different ways, tens of millions, in areas and neighborhoods, commuting, relaxing, this is another day in life. It’s the sense of volume that’s distinct in the feel, it’s the large apartment buildings and the early sun that do it, they let you know that this is another day, and that there are even other cities like this one around the world. There are billions of us, and we all cogitate and breathe alive, winter or summer, continents around the world, there are us.

The big city feel is different from the small town feel. The former makes you smaller because of your relation to the people living with you in the urbanscape. The small town makes you feel smaller because you see the landscape, and you realize that you’re a creature inhabiting God’s land, and that is different from a creature inhabiting a land that man has constructed on God’s land. In the city, you have greater corporeal scope, you realize the body’s relation to other bodies, as per Whitman and it can minimize your place, or enlighten you as you think of your relation to the multitudes.  In the country you have greater ethereal scope, you understand the futility of your place with relation to the passage of time, and it can make you appreciative or feel puny.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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