Friday, January 1, 2010

A Place of Refuge

This picture is of the dock area in Ayvalik, Turkey at sunset. The cafes and restaurants surrounding the dock area of Ayvalik provide a refuge from the narrow crowded streets. This scene is also typical of seaside Greek towns. Whereas, Ayvalik once had a large Greek population, the resemblance is more than coincidental. Here, you can relax, contemplate, dream, meditate, discuss, and laugh with friends.
Every settlement regardless of what size, needs public places where people can escape from the hectic and chaotic nature of modern life. In this location, the peacefulness of the water, the movement of boats, the shadows, and the view of distance islands combine to create serenity if a person allows it. Cities are being designed today without these places. It is not in the plan of a consumer and post-industrial city to do so as there is no profit in creating peaceful places and refuges for citizens. Urban residents have become apathetic because of the mantra from the world media which is highly manipulated by multi-national corporations. In our updated Brave New Word, there is no need for the governments to feed people “soma” when multiple shamans can create create visions to “drug” entire cultures creating simultaneously the perfect consumer and economic slave—ignorant that they have lost the rhythm of life that once pulsed in all cities. The post-industrial city has replaced the vibrancy of urban life with mindless commuting, the drudgery of work and the creation of drab dormitories. Meanwhile, the wealthy escape from this nightmare to tranquil places--their gated communities, their beach or mountain cottages or in one of the few places where city life still exists.

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