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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

The "war on Christmas" got me thinking

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E20060104054338

The price we paid for a secular life

Architecture is one of my hobbies. I am not an architect, but I do appreciate a well designed building and space.

In America today, we've lost our sacred public spaces. I don't mean public spaces in the sense that they are publicly owned, although some are. I mean public space in the sense that it is accessible.

Most of our modern cities aren't designed for people, they are designed for cars. Our communion takes place at 70 miles an hour while we are encased in metal and plastic and glass. Instead of our surroundings, we bury ourselves in noise of our choosing. Even if we had time, who can smell a tree or watch a squirrel when it is little more than a flash by our window.

San Francisco is an old city full of sacred public spaces. Union Square, Coit Tower. Golden Gate Park has at least twenty or so that I can think of. The traffic in San Francisco can drive you nuts until you get out of your car. Then you find that most of the city is human scaled. You can spin in any direction and always have a view. The sidewalks are meant to be walked on from one place to another, from one street to another.

Phoenix was built mainly for cars. Even the simplest trip almost requires a vehicle. Sidewalks don't always connect to each other. Outside the residential districts, you take your life into your hand just to cross the street. The city is so spread out that it gives the feeling of being stretched way too thin and on hot days you're almost sure that something will rip through to reveal the city as nothing more than a momentary lapse. The land is old, older than time, but the city is new and doesn't fit well.

Maybe it is as simple as that. In our push to make the cities accessible to cars, we've forgotten to make the outside accessible to ourselves.

But that really isn't it either. We do make spaces set aside, and they are carefully crafted and maintained. But most of them aren't intended to be public. We hide them, or we shelter them out of the mainstream. Maybe it is community we have lost.

I think that in our push for secularism and efficiency, we've sacrificed our art and our souls. At least the part that should be in the center of the city.

We've lost the spark. We've eliminated the touch of transcendence that moves our spirit and imagination beyond time. Even our great buildings are less temples to commerce than storage containers for our business.

No one could mistake the Chrysler Building as anything less than a temple to human achievement. But the Sears Tower is just a tall box on the outside. There is no fire, no passion.

Just a container.

Posted: Wed - January 4, 2006 at 05:43 AM

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Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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