Written by Tawanda Masvikeni
To say I have always been in awe of Cambridge would be an understatement. The city is gorgeous. I particularly admire the way it merges the old and new; an inspiring conglomeration of the antique and the modern. Many people from the UK, Europe, The United States and other developed countries do not seem to share that sense of wonder, which I find perfectly reasonable.
When one has been used to something, desensitisation is almost inevitable. In my case, it took a tragically short time for me to go from looking at buildings that once filled me with a sense of appreciation to hardly noticing them. It is a sad feeling. It is akin to loss yet still having whatever feels lost. When a once ubiquitous feeling starts to slowly fade, one has few ways of remedying it. An option is to accept that nothing, whatever the extent of its grandeur, can be eternally inspiring to behold. I tried that. It was my hope that with the passage of time I would accept it as being an inextricable aspect of the human condition that we lose admiration. That proved to be something I could not simply stoically stomach. There must be a way, I thought to myself, to rediscover the beauty Cambridge always availed to me.
Without expending too many words on what followed, that is the basic backstory of how I set out to love Cambridge again. This time around, I fell in love with it through photography. Having become a picture junkie of sorts in the past week, I feel the city invite me to play with it each time I am out. Photography has rekindled our love. Here are few pictures that evidence our brewing romance.
I am particularly endeared to this picture because of how calm the water appears. There is a serenity to the whole scene that to me, is a distinct feature of Cambridge.
This picture shares many of the qualities of the one that precedes it. What sets it apart, however, is the way it exposes a different side to the city. The building to the right of the bridge, introduces the business element of the city. That is the Jobs Centre Plus building, where I went to get my national insurance number to enable me to work; I cannot help but attach money to it.
There is something ominous about this picture – like a parting of the clouds for a Messianic return as the world darkens.
This still is a playful one. The green in the park is well-exposed. The shadows hint at a bit of sunlight, which excitingly signals the approaching of summer – my first in the UK.
Easily my favourite picture, it captures this part of the university in a way that forces me to think about it more it more intimately.
Finally, this image of Compass House, dark and dreary, yet somehow hopeful.
Reigniting my passion for Cambridge has been trying; I at times forget to take in the city and focus on the perfect picture. More and more, I am finding out that it is about letting this corner of the world have its way with me – and giving in to the whims of Cambridge and whatever it wishes to show me next.