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startling new perspective

I had an interesting experience today.

It was a beautiful day, clear and hot (the exact sort of day that prompted me to write this poem a couple years ago; today's sentiments were identical) so I went for a walk, and I walked up the hill. Now, this is not my usual practice--Leah and I have occasionally walked up Park Ave to Skyline Park (which, we find, is not its real name) but for the most part I go down toward Mass Ave and the familiar territory around that way. But I had been looking at the map and had seen that there was another park, even nearer to our house, of which I had not been aware; so I thought maybe I'd go see what it was like. I didn't look at the map again for the specifics, though, so this was in the nature of an exploration of the unknown.

So I wandered through some unknown for a little while--note that in Arlington the streets are on a sort of bizarre twisted grid system, like a grid that's suffered some sort of massive geological disruption, and the effect is rather disorienting--and eventually came upon the park, which much to my suprise was entirely wooded. So I walked through it, and then wandered back down the hill, taking turnings somewhat at random but secure in the knowledge that as long as I went downwards I would have to eventually come to Mass Ave, whence I could find my way home. Imagine my suprise when I didcome to Mass Ave, and found that I was only a block from the house and had even been walking on familiar Appleton St. for a small while without even recognizing it! And not only that, but the shock of discovering where I was made me aware of buildings within a block of home, some of them quite interesting, that I had managed to never notice ever before.

Yes, simply coming from another direction was enough to confuse me entirely. Contributing to the odd effect was the fact that I was looking around much more than usual, especially at houses--both to find my way, and because now that we're in the house-hunting business I'm suddenly more interested in how other people live. Also, the melting snow and the spring-like clarity of the air gave everything a different aspect. All told, it was a very strange experience, but not at all unenjoyable. A sort of epiphany, though I'd be hard pressed to say of what. But that's why I've written about it here at such great length.

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