Psychogeography

I see psychogeography primarily in the effect of a place or places on my psyche/spirit.

I am acutely aware of my need for exercise. I keep thinking I should just go for a walk a lot. But I find there is no place to walk to. This in spite of there being sidewalks and lots of housing developments. Why don’t I want to walk, or even bike, there? I think it is the spiritual burden that suburban geography loads down on me. I remember biking once through some housing in Durham NC; it seemed like a necropolis to me. The houses were all like monuments and there were no people present. Both scary and depressing. I didn’t want to be there. And I still don’t.

I didn’t find this kind of oppression in my urban walking. There was variety, there were people, there were things taking place. I once made Tom Shaw angry with me by remarking that what we saw in walks in “nature,” I saw in urban walks, looking in shop windows, looking at the great variety of things going on. He rejected the very idea. I guess he found the urban landscape as rebarbative as I find the suburban.

The other meaning of “no place to walk to” is that there is no destination to go. I like walking here when I have some place to go, some errand to run, some purpose in mind. In a city, I could take just random walks, exploring. Here there is nothing, no one, to explore except my purposive activities.

For me at least, a suburban drive is impossible.

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