Posted by shannonclark on June 13, 2003
Mary Anne pointed out this guideline in her journal, in response to a comment I had made to her discussion of writing a story for this anthology.
My comment was, in response to hers about cities that she knew well enough to write about, “Why not write a magical realist piece about the ghosts of cities you have known, that is the wisps of memory, images, sounds, and smells of the places you have known”
She’s not sure if that would work for the anthology – but I’m now feeling inspired, so it is my goal over this weekend to, when not attending the Old Town and Wells Art Festivals to write my story down.
Something about memory and ghosts and our past, present and future, and the intersections that happen when you add a touch of magic into the mix (whether that magic is technology or “magic” I’m not quite sure about actually)
For me, the cities that resonate in this way are Paris, parts of London, Parts of Jeruselam, and a few others. The others in smaller and smaller scenes, a bath in Bath, a dead end in Chapaque (sp I know), a back street in Amsterdam where as a young teen I saw hookers and people doing drugs one block over from a tourist street with street performers of a vastly different nature.
In short the images and memories that linger as we look backwards, and the feelings that they bring to us as we look towards the future.
Paris for me will now always include Luxumberg Gardens where I met some of the coolest people I have ever met while traveling playing chess right before the gardens closed. It will also be the day I walked nearly 15 miles in a vast circle throughout the city, stopping in many different sights, seeing the residential areas, the ancient areas, the rundown parts and the very upscale ones.
London will always been walking back from the office, stopping at theater and buying myself a ticket to a show that evening. It will also be meeting my grandfather and friends in a rented apartment in a very non-touristy part of town and having dinner on the my birthday and getting his watch as a present.
I’m not sure how those scenes and others will make their way into my story, but I’m sure they will – I think it will be about the specifics of place (as per the guidelines) but also about the disconnections that we make from the “reality” as we impose in our own way our reality onto the cities of our minds.
More after I write it.