Today I sit, on a mostly stable chair, trying to write about my first week in London. What is there to say? I seem to be torn between wanting to say too much and too little, between wanting to list out every detail of these first few days and wanting to hoard some of the moments for myself. Truthfully, I know much of the emotion and sensation of London will be lost as I try to bring focus to a series of unfocused experiences. And by unfocused, I do not mean that the sensation itself is clouded, just that the emotions start to bleed into each other as things just seem to keep happening.
This leads me to what I think is going to be my focus of this post: the most difficult question people ask me…
I know that people ask this out of just politeness and curiosity. Many probably expect little more than a “Good.” from me, but I have never been the type of person to just compress my feelings into the expected answer. So, I end up giving them something much more lengthy than expected. I attempt to say everything and nothing all at one.
I say something like this…
London is… more than I can say. It is good and bad. Comfortable and frightening. Loud and quiet. Big and small. And it is many of these things all at the same time. I can go from one emotion to another in a moment. The worst day can become the best and vice versa. And suddenly I find myself feeling so many things at once. It makes me want to dance and cry. Scream and sing. I can never really decide how it makes me feel. Maybe I never will really know how I feel in London. It is a city of places, people, history, and moments. London is especially a city of moments. These moments keep happening, faster than a tube from one stop to the next. You experience something… and before you have a moment to consider its significance and to reflect, another moment occurs. And another. And they all make me feel different things. My emotions overlap until London makes me feel nothing and everything all at once.
I am in a big city made up of little things. Little towns/boroughs that make up London like a patchwork quilt, all in different colours and patterns. And I am experiencing a big semester that will be made up of little moments, some good and some bad, but all of them mine.
So I suppose you could say London is good, but that is only a very small part of it. And I think it does the rest of my experience a disservice. London is more than I will ever be able to say or even remember. But for a little while, London simply is… where I live. The patchwork city of moments.
And I think… I think that is good.