Thursday, August 16, 2012

These City Streets.

I went wandering tonight. As I left the house I thought I'd walk until a tram came along. But then I just kept walking. Along main streets and side streets and into the maze of the city.

I was wearing 'Red', my new cape that has quickly become my favourite winter friend. Perhaps it was being engulfed in her special world while walking along Melbourne's blustery winter streets that did it but there was something in the air tonight.

And so I walked. And thought. And looked up at the lit windows of office blocks and loft apartments. Wondering who was working late and cooking dinner and fighting with their lover. Who was crying and who was laughing.

After a brief city meeting I somehow found myself in the same situation homeward bound. The tram was going to take a while so I figured I'd just walk a block. But then I just kept walking.

I walked past small restaurants lit low with candles or morning-sunlight yellow lamps where couples sat in the windows. Were they happy? On a first date? Or a last chance?

Do you ever have those moments when you're walking, or wandering, and listening to music on shuffle and a certain song comes on and it is so perfect that it makes you stumble just a tad? It's as if The Shuffle Gods have sent a spider into that hidden part of your heart and picked the perfect song? I know you know what I mean.

As I was walking down a Fitzroy back street and marvelling at the light on the tree above the opening bars of a certain song came creeping in. As if it were a personal movie for just me and that tree, swaying in the breeze.

I often think about the country. About the rolling hills that are my home, those that I've imagined and longed for oh-so-often during long trips away. The hills that provide space, freedom, comfort and an overall sense of the world being ok. I still have a visceral reaction when I drive down the dirt road to the farm gates. And wonder how I could possibly find another space in the world to love the same.

And yet I find these city streets just so damn beautiful. Beautiful in their chaos, their mystery, their melancholy. Oh, the secrets hidden in those cracks. I think, as much as I was coming back to the hills, I was coming back to these streets. Craving light-filled evening adventures where, for a perfect moment in time and rugged up against the winter winds, the heart is free to swoon. And stumble to an odd song or two.

But even at our swiftest speed
We couldn't break from the concrete
In the city where we still reside
And I have learned
That even landlocked lovers yearn
For the sea like navy men
Cause now we say goodnight
From our own separate sides

- Brothers On A Hotel Bed
Death Cab For Cutie


  1. Beautiful post. Perfectly captures how I feel wandering Fitzroy on any weeknight of the year - caught up in the hundreds of narratives unfolding all around, wandering on and on with a bright spark in your heart and songs in your head. Such a special place, thank you for putting it in to words. x

  2. It is a special place...these city streets miss you Darmody! xo

  3. Wow... dont lose your spunk for life Fran. Amazing

  4. Aw thanks Jase! Super nice thing to say! Hope the flowers are treating you well :) xo

  5. This should be read with breakfast each morning. Like a good multivitamin. It's beautiful and fills up my bucket.