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Sleeping City

Personal Log // CV Quarantine Day 7



My city has powered down and entered an extremely rare state of sleep. When it next awakens, it will be a different creature. I’ve been outside once in the past week, and the City does not feel devoid of life, but rather, it feels simmering, dangerous, and pent up. Like instead of walking through barren streets, I am winding my way through the lair of a sleeping dragon.


So what to do with a sleeping dragon? it is a fine time to inspect every beautiful and exquisite detail of him. We can get a clear view of its skin and coloring and textures in a way we cannot when it is awake and in violent motion. (Yet of course, we must tread lightly and keep our safely foremost in mind!!). On my one essential foray this week, I inspected the (mostly) empty streets and the many, many shuttered small businesses - most assuredly they will awaken at some point in the future, but likely in a different form. The Dragon seems to have burned down quite a lot before it’s nap. The City’s slate is being wiped blank.


As we inspect the dragon’s lair, we see now the riches he has hoarded and curled himself around with an iron grip, and we can get a sense of the value. The riches are the people of the City. I truly got a real sense of the importance of the interplay between people and place. I have a piece of art from Budapest proclaiming: The City is not a Place - it is The People, a play on a quote from the film Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve done some writing here about Magia Loci being a type of magical process that draws not just on the physicality of a place but on what arises from people interacting with that place. It’s a huge part of this magic. In the current situation, you can’t not feel the weight of the people holed up inside. Do you miss them? Do you miss the other gems that are out of reach - other places you cannot visit? I miss subways and seeing hundreds of different people each day. I miss the strolling through busy markets and parks. And thinking about what I don’t miss - is telling.


What about your own lair? For me, without the physical delineators of traveling to a work place and back, work has rolled through my mornings, evenings, and dreams. That’s not good at all, so this week I’m doing some stronger separation techniques - untethering from constant connection to phone and media, and more strictly engaging with work ONLY in a particular physical spot. No more spreading work all over by walking around or lounging on the couch while on video conferences. Yes, it is a magical work of land-taking - reconsecrating your own space from the new influences that might be pressing upon your space, be it work or suddenly more-present family members. Make it your magical lair once again! In short, I”m counterbalancing the new influence of work by 1) setting up it’s own area and 2) making my living space more emphatically non-work - surrounding it with special new projects and books and art crafts.


What else to do with a sleeping dragon? We might just let him sleep, and maybe spend some downtime napping and dreaming right along with him. He’ll be awake soon enough.


image by By Sephiroth-Art

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