City space is my favourite space.

As much as I love the open country, star-filled skies, mountain tops and the shorelines, I always find my heart most enraptured when walking in the city.

Even in its dirtiest, ugliest, and stinkiest, I find that there is so much for me to absorb and know, so much I can turn over and take apart, so many layers of time and space just haunting, just hovering.

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Recently I have been forced to take longer walks in the city in this deathly cold, and although I detest the cold, I do think that a cold city has its own flavor.

I think a lot about Michael Ondaatje’s Toronto, and Michael Redhill’s Toronto. Then I think about Dionne Brand’s Toronto and I sometimes feel like if I looked around I might see them walk by, ghostly inhabitants of this city rising out of words on words.

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Sometimes, days happen to take you to roads you haven’t walked before, neighbourhoods you’ve never seen, and you might just catch a glimpse of a moment so breathtakingly mundane. For me, in those moments time has a way of becoming quiet space, space I want to inhabit and breathe for a little longer. It’s not really about perspective, just a view. A view that is ever changing, but also ever constant. That exact intersection of a moment will never happen again. How blessed am I to have caught it then, to be a part of it even.

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Maybe the city means more also because I live in it. The roads I walk take me in general paths, but I am always heading toward home in the end. All the roads traveled are meaningful because they lead me to belonging.

As I traverse the city, the city becomes mine. But as I traverse, I also make my way back into mine. Home time is happy time and happy me.

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Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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