Saturday, March 12, 2016

City Bones

Saturday here has been a bleak sort of day, with a cold drizzle of rain and traffic that ground slow and halting through streets jammed with slippery umbrellas, like patches of soggy mushrooms pushing up through the concrete jungle floor. With my man and our oldest away for a few days, it was just me and the three leftovers , their hair beaded with the sky's perspiration, shoes slogging through street-side puddles, errands to run and a day to get through.

"The rain stopped. And look... it's so beautiful!" Quinn's childish exuberance and genuine delight made me smile considering his age and the view...looking out over the city rooftops, a mixture of the old and new, a short history for short-sighted eyes.

The students in my classes this week, they stamped cityscapes with black ink, building a skeleton of a city out of prints held in their little hands. They were the architects, I told them, the artists who could create beauty out of building line upon line and block upon block. And only the one with a soul can impart soul into his work.

I think the bones of this city are haunted, even if it sees no ghosts. There is a soul dormant here that is made of more spirit than the mere bones of economy and political machines, or of the hardware of handheld devices and fiberoptic information. We spend our days in these hollowed out places, made hallowed by the Breath of Life. In a city teeming with so much man, numbers and figures seem more accurate than any individual narrative. But I have a hope for the stories to rise up like smoke and fill the air with a pungent reality.


  1. I loved this- speaks of cities everywhere and the layers of life and histories they contain.
    I recently discovered your instagram page when I went looking for first hand accounts of families who have moved to China- something we've been contemplating- and the window into your world has been nothing but inspiring. ♡

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