I felt contained

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Street in Gubbio

I felt contained, and entranced by the details. Enjoying the color, the alternation of light and dark, spaces and streets, the edges everywhere, the stone asserting is being, the sense of age and solidity, the changes of mood with the changes of light, but always strong moods. I could understand why many would find such places a paradigm of what it would mean to be in a deep, complete place.

In truth, though, the towns are no longer the unique centers of their local areas; communications and highways have opened wider horizons for their inhabitants. The grammar of life changes and the historic center of the town cannot be the same when it no longer contains-shapes-symbolizes a whole life. Besides, did the towns ever try to center all of life? Their rhythms emphasized in and out, not pure containment. They were even then more complex than their tourist image, an image that hides their even greater present complexities.