At first, I noticed that the small things had changed, like the rearranging of items at Trader Joe’s and the augmentation of MTA fares. It wasn’t until las weekend when I realized that there had been larger shifts in my life – that some sort of displacement had occurred. Things changed. People moved on. Friends drifted.
I was already aware that some friendship ties had already weakened over the last few years, but there was always some residual of amicability that I could build on and construct some sort of ideal in which nothing had changed. After all, it’s difficult to acknowledge how much has changed in a place of which you’re not in its presence. In some pseudo-manner, the construct that I hold is suspended in time – with each memory retaining its quality through the years as the constant present. And that false construct is better maintained now with social networks that permit us to have some access to the estranged with news feed updates.
This falsified construct of mine has held itself up pretty well, given that social settings to which it lends itself are more of celebration, as opposed to awkward and spontaneous run-ins/conversations. That and the fact that much of the conversations refer to the past in which we all share a sphere of common knowledge. Both of which contribute to the suspended belief that nothing has changed and that I have been here for everything.
And bringing this topic to a broader light, it holds the same truth with regards to these cities in which I’ve lived. In spite of always coming back to the same house in Toronto, for instance, I continue to find myself becoming more acquainted with the unfamiliar corners that are reserved for crowd to which I did not belong in my youth. It is as though this entire city has opened itself up to me to further explore and to realize that it has changed as much as I have, as childhood memories of what once was are replaced by new bars and cafés. And though both are newer, New York and Paris have changed considerably in the span of a year, in terms of my viewpoint and what has happened mutually exclusive to me.
I suppose that I had spent so focused on actively accepting and letting go of certain things, that I hadn’t realized how much I was holding on to, on a subconscious level, as it had been. To actively and collaboratively build on these memories wasn’t a consideration – I wanted to preserve them and perhaps align them with what I had absorbed from Facebook updates.
In summary – I’ve spent the last three years not realistically acknowledging that things surely change, suspending them in this frame-set only to realize that I live in something that hasn’t existed for more than three years.
Image courtesy of blogTO