‘Blimey, it’s not Manchester, is it!’ was a response to my Star Fen post – meaning that it’s quiet and rural rather than busy and urban. I was having a similar thought yesterday while waiting at Piccadilly station for the train to Doncaster, first leg of my journey home (as in Heckington, Grantham, Doncaster, Manchester).
I’d had another quick overnight visit to see daughter and grand-babies, with bonus of nice dinner with friends on Wednesday night. I was tired after two days of walking around with a rucksack. I sat and watched the crowd, thinking about how I loved big city bustle in my twenties – loved London, found Manchester a bit too small (!). Back then the crowd meant invisibility, anonymity and hence freedom, a space in which to be myself. Now, in my fifties, I feel constrained and oppressed by the presence of so many people, so near to me and yet so unconnected. I can’t take them all in, can’t experience them as individuals; and the noise is too much.
Now my sense of life, lightness, energy comes from a wide open space with no people in it. Funny how the desire for liberation remains but one finds it in different places.