A loud neon sculpture was the closest I personally came to anything of spiritual significance in the streets of London, apart from the gilded bronze angel on top of the Victoria Memorial. It just goes to show... never say never.
To be fair, I did not visit to the city of London solely for esoteric purposes, but I found the energy signature quite different and stark there, compared to Athens and Berlin. The atmosphere in Berlin, for example, felt electric, yet peaceful. Stepping off the U-Bahn at Wittenberg Platz in the middle of the high season, I was engulfed by a comforting low-level hum of German families and tourists doing their Saturday afternoon window shopping.
The people here did not seem to have a care in the world. The streets were crowded , much like that of London, but not once did I feel a sense of angst or claustrophobia. The warm buzz was actually quite welcoming and pleasant… and this is major coming from a highly strung empath like myself.
Berlin woke me up on a Sunday morning with the nostalgic chiming of church bells. I was staying inside one of the surviving wings of the Neues Schauspielhaus on Nollendorf Platz, in the Schöneberg district of Berlin. It was built in 1905 as a theatre and concert hall, in the then fashionable Art Nouveau style.
Maybe Bertold Brecht was there in the 1920s, discussing his plays with someone in the very room I slept in that night, or maybe the bands Depeche Mode or The Human League used it as a dressing room in the 1980s. While those bells were ringing in the distance, I almost expected Christopher Isherwood’s character Sally Bowles to sneak down the corridor of this old building, back from a busy, decadent night’s work at the Kit Kat Club cabaret.
Then I hit London! Pity I did not find that four leaf clover. After spending so many magical moments on the Acropolis in Greece, and in the lush greenery of the Tiergarten forest in Berlin, I was now suddenly at my wit’s end. Just a few days earlier I was meditating at Stonehenge, and before that I was watching people pass by peacefully at street cafe’s in Schöneberg and on Potsdamer Platz. I was poorly prepared for the cut-throat hustle and bustle of the inner city streets of London. Arriving at Paddington Station in the midst of the afternoon peak hour also did not help.
Maybe my distress was due to the lingering effect of the recent energizing experience I had at Bath Spa, as well as a once in a lifetime visit to the inner circle of Stonehenge. This could very well be what set me up for such a subsequent shock to my system – the sheer contrast of it all! Or maybe I was suffering from a lack of peaceful sleep, after being woken up several times in Athens, Berlin and Wiltshire by a phantom who was compulsively sweeping and mopping the floors outside my door every night. I still do not know who she was, but for some reason she followed me around in Europe… until I arrived in London. Then she disappeared without a trace. At least London exorcised the ghostly cleaning lady who shall forever remain unknown.
But, I did find something spiritual in London after all! One day, while battling my way through the streets of Soho, I spotted a psychedelic looking piece of postmodern art in the display window of an art gallery appropriately called "Scream". This bold and brash sculpture was the closest I personally came to any real sense of spiritual substance in the London inner city. It just goes to show: never say never. I have no idea who the artist of this bizarre piece is; I was in too much of a restless hurry to stop and ask. That is what one does in London Town. You rush and you stay alive.
London works hard, plays hard, and lives fast. During the day the city is highly stressed, materialistic and fast-paced. It has a sense of urgency and survival of the fittest. And at night the city center becomes loud, angry and intoxicated. I saw youths beat each other up on street corners, and inebriated businessmen, with loosened ties and wrinkled Italian suits, noisily singing along to show tunes in a pub.
No wonder the Jesus statue in that window looked so disappointed. I cannot imagine myself ever living there.
© 2013 Anthon St Maarten