This afternoon I went on a walk through my city’s depths. I set no destination and changed direction on a whim. I had nothing on my calendar to incite me into checking the time. Earbuds and a podcast kept my brain from its usual unhealthy cycles.
I mostly take pictures of buildings because taking pictures of strangers makes me anxious. I stop and stare at weird shapes or reflections. Sometimes I raise up my iPhone to look at the same detail through the camera app, like a film director looking through a rectangle he made with his fingers. I imagine the edits I will make whenever I get home (or spontaneously stop at a coffee shop).
There is something about the kludginess of cities that I find soothing: the almost-managed chaos; the creeping but constant entropy-driven degradation; the fact that, not unlike a language, cities grow and change in unforeseeable ways despite the best efforts of the controlling and change-averse.
And the fact that I can walk by a building one-hundred times, but then on the one-hundred-and-first pass I see it and stop.
Maybe I’ve never been on this block at this time of day, or this time of year, or in this state of mind. I shuffle shuffle shuffle to line it up, peer through my iPhone finger-rectangle, and…📸.
This is my meditation. This is my self-care.