The suburb within

By Brother Void
Published June 14, 2002 7:14PM (EDT)

"You must proceed there, that way, where today you are least at home."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Most of us think of suburbia as a physical place. A place where folks value comfort, safety and a good electric Saran Wrap cutter. A place where you can boldly assert your independence from cultural enrichment. But suburbia also exists within us. You might live in the middle of a big city, but there still could be a white picket fence around your imagination. You can take the subway to work but still park your identity in a two-car garage. This is inner suburbia, and you probably moved here long ago. You've let yourself be shaped by your fears of the unknown. You've learned to contain your longings and sympathies within a comfortable zone, measured and mediocre. To grow, you must move toward otherness. You must quit the ranch house of your soul and head for the forbidden places -- your inner wilderness, inner bohemia or even your inner inner city. The answers you need lie there, where you are least at home.

I must quit the ranch house of my soul.

Reprinted with permission from "Daily Afflictions" by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W. Norton. To order a copy, click here

Brother Void

Brother Void is the alter ego of Andrew Boyd. More information about Brother Void and his book, "Daily Afflictions," can be found at his Web site.

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