Friday, June 05, 2009

Where the Future is the Past

When do you realize that time passed and you, now, belong to the generation of those who know "how it was" and "how it got"?
It suddenly can appear to you, just like lightning, in one of those desolate days when memories come pressing into your eyes.
It can be a picture, it can be a smell, it can be a word.
But then, it is there, your remote past and it looks so remote that you feel very old, in spite of the fact that it looks just a few years ago...
You realize it because your tastes have changed, what looked nice now looks ugly and the opposite.
I live now in an old town, a town which has been spared the "modernization" of the sixties and the seventies, which was reborn in the nineties, when "old" was "new".
When I was a child, my mother used to wear stiletto shoes and being shortly after the war, shoes didn’t become the roads of that period.
They still had those nice (or what looks nice now)stone paved roads.
Every two steps the stiletto finished between two stones and, besides being hard to walk, it endangered a new and expensive pair of shoes.
"I wish they changed the roads" was my mother comment, "It is time they do something new".
And they did it.
Brand new roads.
Where new cars could go as fast as possible.
But then, when you could finally walk with a brand new pair of stiletto shoes, you couldn´t walk anymore.
Too many cars, too dangerous and may be too uncomfortable to walk.
Why bother walking when you had a car that perfectly did the job to bring you from A to B, in much less time?

The same happened to houses.
Most of them, the old ones, were just pulled down, to leave space to new "modern buildings”, which had more light, more elevators, more appliances.
Few trees of course, who needed trees anyhow?
Trees are a burden, they take away the light and the space where you can have more concrete.
Why bothering to have grass you have to cut, when you can have nice and easy to keep concrete?

I have grown up with "modern buildings" "modern schools" "modern towns".
That is why I like the old.
Here life has a much slower rhythm.
Cars cannot go fast because the roads are still stone paved and the trees roots have made them hilly and difficult to drive on.
Houses do not have elevators and, if you enjoy a nice view, you have to climb.
You have to use your legs to walk and may be some sweaters more because when there is the wind you feel it through your bones.
But you have millions of birds on the trees and nice grass to sit on and a lot of rivers and lakes, and old bridges and old small shops and you see a lot of human beings, because everybody walks.
It is a place where people still live.
They walk, breath, chat and live close to nature.

In a few words, you grow old, but you do not really care, because there is still place for you, and you perfectly fit in the landscape...
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