Friday, June 16, 2023

Friday Writings #81: City Dreaming



Hello again, dear Wordsmiths.

My commiserations to all those in North America who have recently been suffering smoke-filled skies. How strange and startling to see images of even huge cities covered in haze, the sun ghost-like!

How do you feel about cities anyway?

I prefer to live in a small town nowadays, probably because I grew up in one (or thought I did! I've since learned it was classified as a city even then). However, I’ve fallen in love with particular cities in the past: Venice, Cusco, Edinburgh, Kathmandu … all places where, when I first encountered them, I dreamed of living happily forever after. I am told I might not like any of them so well now, when they are much more crowded and polluted.

There are some cities I dreamed of seeing but never did. Above all, I’d have loved to visit Paris: so legendary in so many ways. My late husband, Andrew, dreamed of taking me to Spain, particularly Barcelona, which he had loved as a young man spending time in Europe. That never happened either – though we did see together, and love together, those cities I’ve mentioned above, to which I longed to move permanently.

I used to enjoy living in the city of Melbourne when I did live there, which was most of my adult life. Since I left, it too has become more crowded and polluted, as I know from visits back to see family and old friends. I’m glad I don’t live there now. (Just the traffic! OMG.) Even back then, I had a theory that no-one actually chooses to live in Melbourne: they're either born there, or somehow they just end up there.

I’ve been away from Melbourne almost 30 years, nearly as long as I lived there. Yet some nights, over the years since, I've dreamed that I'm in my car, driving through particular Melbourne suburbs in the area where I lived the longest, where I brought up my children. This puzzles me when I wake, because although it was an important and eventful part of my life, much happened before and since which, in my waking hours, I'm more inclined to dwell on. (And it’s not as if I’ve ever been all that keen on driving – though, as a young mum, I was called on to do a lot of it.)

How is your relationship to cities? In general, do you find them thrilling or are they the stuff of nightmares?

Are there particular ones you dream of exploring, or recall with delight? Is it your own city you love? (It’s no secret that some of us, like Jim and Rajani, are well-travelled. And our Magaly, of course, lives in the quintessential city, New York.)

Are there cities which pop up in your sleeping dreams, as Melbourne does in mine? Perhaps even imaginary cities?

Do you, perhaps, cherish a Utopian dream of the ideal city?

Your optional prompt this week is to tell us which city (or cities) you dream of — in whatever way.

Guidelines: 369 words maximum please, excluding title; one post per person; link (below) to that post on your blog; please take time to read some other responses too. You may also leave us a comment here, or a quick hello.

Have fun!

Next week, Magaly will invite us to write poetry or prose which includes the complete title of one of our favorite books.



A view of the city of Melbourne, and the Yarra River

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2013


  1. Thank you for this post/prompt, Rosemary. I dream of places I haven't seen (except on the internet)- not the ones I've visited. Don't know why! :) But Luang Prabang in Laos was one place I felt I could just live in, at least for a while.

    1. Sounds as if you are a born traveller! I'll have to see if I can find out more about Luang Prabang – though my travelling is 'armchair' these days (or, more accurately, via computer).

  2. Thank you for this great prompt. I am a little new here. Nice to meet everyone.

  3. After reading your prompt, I realized something I hadn't known before: I don't really dream about cities. Or, at least, not because of the cities themselves. I often find myself dreaming about people I want to visit... I would love to visit Australia in order to see you and my friends Shelle and Emma in your native environments. I dream of my friend Gina's garden in the UK. I didn't know these things about me, so I'm extra-thankful for this prompt.

    1. Oh, it's always good to make new self-discoveries. The thought of a visit from you gave me a big smile.

  4. I exactly don't dream of places but of an environment the gives me a sense of calm like a mountain top, a river side or a quiet beach in the evening though there are places I would like to visit like Norway, Leh Ladakh...Thank you so much for this prompt,....made me think something about myself

    1. You're very welcome! And as the prompt is optional, please feel free to write about your mountain top or beach if you wish, and share that with us ... or about anything else at all, really.

  5. Good day, Poets & Storytellers!

    Will be back to read later. Going for an early community run. They think old folks here wake up very early. :)

  6. Nice prompt! My poem is what came to mind when I thought of City and Dreaming together :-)


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