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Semiformalishmaybe

Impermanancy drew the Hardy..

Times like these: reminder that everything's in motion, and how hard it can be to reach out and try to make something permanent. How rare anything feels right, with a person, a place, a group. When I was young, the frequent moves before the family settled down, separation from family, friends, and southern culture introduced me to this pain, although it's such an old pain - I think impermanence is at the heart of human experience, and our attempts to deal with or hide it define a lot of our unspoken life-philosophy. Reflecting backwards over life, watching others live theirs, watching the next generations come into being, and watching the environment that made us and contributes to our identity pass along in the endless churning - maybe we escape it momentarily by leaving civilisation and entering some kind of nature, which either is too fast-pased or too slow-paced to resonate with this pain - on the edge of a river with crickets, grass, fish, and maybe some company, we can experience that kind of true rootlessness or true rootedness and take a break from places that disappear, friends that disappear, maybe even times of life that disappear.

Strange how books and videogames offer another temporary escape from this pain - the pain of distance fades as I can experience the same worlds, books, imaginary worlds that I did as a boy. Maybe that's part of the appeal, although watching the people fade around these relatively permanent things is a hard contrast to see.

It's things like this that make the idea of immortality ugly and death as oblivion attractive - people reach out to each other in the face of this terrifying anicca, but in the end we're like stones in a tumbler doomed to wear, faster I think if we don't distract or lie to ourselves enough. This collection of memories is either precious or terrible.

I sometimes wonder, if we really could rewind our lives from any point to any point as many times as we liked and taking different choices, whether this would just make things worse (I explored this idea a bit with another story and sketches that very few of you have seen) or offer an escape from anicca. Perhaps we'd miss the things that never were, and the greater distance of that would break us more wholly than reality can break us here. So many people we might've once influenced, now distant and living their lives without us..

Having a long term companion, as long as it lasts in whatever form it takes, is I think the best thing in the world to hold back the rest of things - the sharing of memories, melancholy, a hug, some tea. Such a better ending than just a lonely recollection of long wandering through a transitory world.

Comments

i'm curious what you think of deliberately nonpermanent relationships. would there be something to be gained from sharing the same experiences with someone for only a year or three? even if so, would a long-term arrangement be always more desirable?
There's probably always something to be gained. Trying to build something long-lasting is always a gamble anyhow. I do think that if things work out well, a long-term relationship is preferable over a short-term, by my perspective .. well, at least once one is ready.

That notion of being ready is an important one, and not one I've considered very deeply yet. There's such a thing as people who marry their highschool sweetheart, or who otherwise don't "play the field" enough to really figure out who they are or what they want. I wouldn't say that people always need to wait until they first feel this emptiness that's so big in my life, but sufficient personal growth is probably wise before people really try for something long-term.