I'm going to use this literary reference for tonight's blog post. I want to introduce you to two different cities. One is a place well traveled and familiar, the other is a place that is new and full of potential. I need to let you know that while I know Charles Dickens penned A Tale of Two Cities I have never read the book, I do not even know the basics of what it is about. Therefore, the parallels if any, are merely coincidental and have no merit on the story I am about to tell.
She wondered one night down streets so familiar she didn't feel the danger that was lurking in the shadows. She had become accustomed to the way the bricks jutted here and there along the path, as time and nature have a way of moving things about. However, there where the streets met, was a danger she had never encountered, a threat she never thought would enter her safe haven. You see she had found this city quite by happenstance so long ago. At first she was highly unsure of its offerings, there was promise and intrigue and there was excitement and value, but behind the cityscape she questioned the structure of the buildings.
Despite those early fears she stayed long enough to learn the architecture, meet the master craftsman and fall in love with all that it had to offer even though it didn't have all the things she had thought she wanted and needed in life. After all, not all cities have to be extravagant to have allure. Here she found home. Here she found the peace that comes from knowing the surroundings, of learning, daily, how it was built and sharing the joy of each new discovery. Here she found a calm she had never known before. Yet in her was always the desire to have the city find her. After months of walking the well traveled roads the city began to transform and change. It kept altering until the streets became a labyrinth to which she couldn't outrun.
She struggled and struggled and raced against time to re-establish the familiarity she had only so recently found, in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn't there. No, it had started to seep from the shadows, it had begun changing its form and the maze that it created pushed her further and further from its center, its heart. It sprung on her like a panther, claws dripping in a murky ink and consumed her heart and mind in a fail swoop, leaving her aghast at the sight of the remnants which was her life, thus far. She pushed forward, no ran, aimlessly, fighting to find the center again to only connect with one corner after another until the only option left was to find a way out. She had to find a way out. Out of the city. Out of its horrors. Out of what it had become.
Wondering through the wilderness she came to a fork in the road. One she had found before. One that had led her to the city she just escaped. This time there was a new city sign on the post, but it was so many, many miles away. She didn't know how long it would take her to get there. She didn't know what this city could or would offer, but she knew the demands she had of its architect. They were lofty demands, demands filled with big things as well as little things. These demands were her wish for a forever place to be. These things were all her desires rolled into a single place. She'd been told such places existed in life, since others had stumbled upon such a city of their own. However, it took her many wrong turns to fully know what to ask of the architect.
But she took the first step and the next and the one after that until the journey began. The longing for the familiar still beckons her, it still holds the promises of what it was. It still has the potential to be that city again, but much reconstruction is needed on those twisty, turny, cobbled streets. Much renovation is required of its dark corners. In the meantime, the road she is on, the one leading to the city full of intrigue and potential is just around the bend, wherever that may be along the path. The path that, at times, has doubled back on itself. The path which can lead to a city rebuilt or one designed by an architect based from the demands of a girl. A girl that ran to escape what she found and found not only where she was, but who she was.
This is a tale of two cities.