Why is it that in Hurricane, West Virginia, surrounded by trees and plants in all directions, I suddenly feel the irresistible urge to become a city slicker?
Whether to become a city slicker or a plain folk (country person), is a decision everyone must make at some point in their life. Do you want to live in the world of plants (the country), or the world of animals (the city)? I always assumed I would be more of a plain folk, since I feel like a plant at heart. Plants provide relief from the constant assault of human ideas upon our brains. They bring peace, beauty, and wisdom. Their minds are pure and spacious. Human minds are more like houses, structured and confined to include only a tiny slice of reality. And just as with houses, unless people make a concerted effort to clean their minds on a regular basis, the funk tends to build up until things take on a rather unappetizing smell. But plants live under the open sky and the stars, there is nothing to shield their minds from reality, and so, over time, their ideas become more true. Humans build thought structures to protect themselves, and these structures seem to keep the bad in as much as they are designed to keep the bad out.
But I’m not knocking humans, because when it comes to energy and zest, humans are where it’s at. Plants can lull you into a state of contemplation and wonder, but humans snap you out of your reverie and stimulate you to get back on your feet and fight. Humans are smart and brisk; they challenge us to be all we can be; they awaken our creativity and passion. Humans are wily and deceptive, but also fast and clever. They bring heat and light to our world, and warm up our hearts in a way that no plant can. Even their evil ways can bring about robust health by stimulating the flow of bile in our liver.
In essence, plants are from Venus: beautiful, harmonious, and lanquid, while animals are from Mars: driven, devious, and willful. And now that I am living in a place overflowing with plantness, I suddenly find myself craving the fiery red shiny hard plastic life of the city mouse.
But what does it entail, exactly, being a city slicker? And what do I need to do to become one? (I’ll do anything!)
Well, according to google, in order to become a city slicker, I need to
a) join a fitness club (because city slickers are fit)
b) learn three new words a day (because city slickers are smart)
c) keep up with fashion trends (because city slickers are fashionable)
d) call my friends “sexy” (because…?)
Hmmm… I know I said I would do anything, but wearing polyester scarfs and calling people sexy? Maybe there is no future for me in the city. I don’t know. I will try to keep an open mind, though, because after all, Hurricane is only thirty minutes away from Charleston, WV. Charleston is supposedly just a city of 50,000 people, but when you see it at night, all twinkling between the mountains and the river, somehow it seems way bigger and more urban than Boston.