In the City: Random Acts of Awareness by Colette Brooks

By Colette Brooks

What sort of individual is a urban person?

This is a question of accelerating significance, Colette Brooks indicates, because the urban starts off to unfold, inexorably, into the furthest reaches of the fashionable brain. One hazard: a urban individual is somebody "who doesn't consider the necessity to end a jigsaw puzzle, who relishes jagged edges and orphaned curves, stray bits of information, tales parsed from sentences part overheard at the streets."

Someone who's keen, occasionally keen, to immerse herself in mystery.

Winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award, In the City is an idiosyncratic, lyrical, edgy exploration of the city event. This bold, unpredictable paintings breathes new lifestyles into the nonfiction shape. Chronicling the customarily haphazard lives of urban dwellers and towns themselves, In the City is a window into the city psyche.

An unnamed narrator roams the streets of an unnamed urban, practising "random acts of awareness" as she gathers disjointed items of the puzzle. She is typically in a urban that looks ny, and infrequently in towns midway around the globe. In her wanderings she collects bits of reports, a few taken from the headlines, a few from the streets, a few from the far-off past.

She stories criminals, blameless bystanders, commuters; a well known painter who fled to the rustic; a bomber who sends unsuspecting urban dwellers deadly programs marked "personal"; a blind, deaf lady who likes to journey the subway; a tender cabdriver who retains an open dictionary at his facet as he drives, suffering to profit a wierd language; a at a loss for words explorer who unearths himself, opposed to all expectation, stranded on the very fringe of the earth.

All of those humans, she discovers, are urban humans, whether or not they comprehend it but or not.

Some will flourish, others may be misplaced, sufferers of probability and mischance: the girl who beverages via herself in a brownstone condominium; the traditional urban dwellers who couldn't outrun fireplace or flood; the kids whose faces turn out on posters on a wall. those that live on research, in the end, that everybody retains corporation with ghosts who stroll alongside.

In the City exhibits us that town is a spot the place previous and current are commingled, the place questions infrequently have solutions, the place risk, hassle, and excitement are interwoven in methods we will be able to infrequently start to explain.

Welcome to town, where the place all opposite symptoms carry precise.

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Additional resources for In the City: Random Acts of Awareness

Sample text

It is only when the "no" is seen, recognized, and appreciated that the "yes" becomes accessible to the entire family. 32 Like Bowen, we attend to the balance of power, to the cooperative creation of individual pathology, and to the intricate connections of triangles within couples and families. Like Bowen, we recognize that a given family can change but that drastic changes in families may take several generations. We like to work with at least several generations at a time: mothers and sons, granddads and grandchildren, aunts and their elders, and so on.

Whereas in the first instance I do to myself what I want to do to you, in the second case, I give myself what I want you to give to me (like stroking my hair, holding my hand, and so on). J. Kepner (1987), Body process: A Gestalt approach to working with the body in psychotherapy (New York: Gardener Press). See also M. Schiffman (1971), Gestalt self therapy andfurther techniques for personal growth (Berkeley, CA: Wingbow Press). J. Zinker&S. Nevis (1981), The gestalt theory of couple andfamily interactions, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland working paper, Cleveland, OH.

Whereas in the first instance I do to myself what I want to do to you, in the second case, I give myself what I want you to give to me (like stroking my hair, holding my hand, and so on). J. Kepner (1987), Body process: A Gestalt approach to working with the body in psychotherapy (New York: Gardener Press). See also M. Schiffman (1971), Gestalt self therapy andfurther techniques for personal growth (Berkeley, CA: Wingbow Press). J. Zinker&S. Nevis (1981), The gestalt theory of couple andfamily interactions, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland working paper, Cleveland, OH.

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