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a paradise that can be found

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"The bluegreen city" was the epithet I coined to describe Cologne. I moved there in the fall, but it wasn't until the springtime that I began to perceive its magic. This was Cologne before it "became real": before having dental surgery or a tax advisor; before truly grappling with the practicalities of it. But it was feverish and furious with colour, it rippled with secrets: the city-beneath beginning to speak to me.

My teenage years in Holland had been fraught. It was Cologne that ended up being formative: instructive in freedom, self-definition, and learning to be part of a community. I went from being a haggard rebel to being "all girl", a deliberate dreamer: all rose prints and brushing away long straight hair and picking wildflowers and always smiling, smiling at everybody, relentlessly. Wanting so much to be good.

The summer was a time of sensual awakening: I would simply drink up the blue sky then. I had never been like that as a child—things never suffused me That much. But that cityscape did. I could weep for its trees.

This mix still might be my favourite.

 
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