I never know how to start a new post, what catchphrase to come up with, what single sentence to say which would catch the attention of a reader. I mean, they say that the first three words are the most crucial ones when you are trying to involve a reader in your text.
Well… One thing is certain, this post is not going to be a tutorial on “How to retain audience’s attention”. I haven’t actually decided myself what this post is going to be about. I often want to write something personal, something which translates my mood, emotions, thoughts onto a blank screen of computer. I want to open up and tell my own story. At the same time, I want to give value, give something special to my reader, open the world to them; the world I live in and the world that exists without my own being in it.
This is why I want to write about London. The city I love, and the city I struggle to find flattering quotes about from the classical literature. Curiously, the classics seemed to treat London as the city of sins, the city of lucre, or as Oscar Wilde once said, – the city that is “entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics.” Please, please, please someone tell me that I understood it all wrong, that there are hidden meanings and connotations in this quote which I didn’t read through properly!
Regardless of the classics’ opinions, no one can deny the beauty of this city. This isn’t the kind of beauty you see from a distance by casting a quick glance. You might not fall in love with it instantly, from the first sight or even from the first encounter. You might have to look again, one more time, or ten times more. You might have to learn to be more grateful, to look deeper, to search for the bright side in every moment you spend walking down the crowded shopping districts, hectic labyrinths of London Underground, historical streets, tranquil parks or sleepy suburbs. You might have to learn to appreciate sunshine, fall in love with the rain and face direction of a strong northern wind which playfully, or sometimes aggressively messes up your hair (especially after you put that extra effort in the morning).
See? This is why I never know what to write about. I follow the direction of the wind, which messes up my thoughts as I write them down on a blank screen or on a piece of paper.
I want to tell you about Primrose Hill.
It was once a part of a great chase, appropriated by Henry VIII. Raising up 63 meters above the sea level, this was once a place where duels were fought and prize-fights took place, and today it opens up to one of the best views of London you can get. Facts, facts, facts…. Who cares about facts? Well, some people do, including you, who is reading this right now… But I don’t. And it is all fine. I’m not the kind of person to talk about facts. I’m more into literature, into ethereal, unrealistic, romantic… not as much factual. But I strongly admire those who know facts, who can remember or care enough about factual information.
Primrose Hill to me was a place of tranquility on a colourless October day. You know how sometimes colours escape your palette, and everything that’s left is nothingness, a vacuum, a black hole that sucks all your colours out? It was that kind of day.
As soon as I entered the serene alley that led me to a beautiful park, filled with life and sunshine, colours seemed to return to where they belong. You see what I mean? There is always a place in London where colours rise in opacity, regain saturation and bring joy to human beings’ soul. Whether you do or do not enjoy the energy of the city, you can escape to a remote area and see the city from the distance. See the powerful walls of the concrete jungle (if one may call London so) as if it were on a palm of one’s hand.
There is something mesmerising about the city which looks so small, about looking down at the scene that usually rises up high above you. You finally see the bigger picture, notice the insignificance of your fears and anxieties which don’t exist in a bigger picture; notice how everything becomes small and extraneous. Nothing matters. The only thing that matters is your being. Your presence, your union with the moment which will likely never repeat the same way.
And what about London? Just give it a hundred second chances. Trust me. Every next one will be different.