On the way to work this morning, I experimented with trying to see Pittsburgh as I did for the first time. I can tell that I have years of warm fuzzies painted over everything I see there, like sepia tones over a black/white photograph. Some of this is because Pittsburgh feels a lot like a giant university campus (one of the highest compliments I can pay a place). Pittsburgh has a flavour. Other cities I enjoy like NYC, Paris, Portland, Austin, and London all have their own flavours too; what I'm aiming to do is to make a little version of myself that's barred from knowing the city I'm in and lacks this glow of comfort/happiness. I think I mostly got it; the impressions are milder, the places between the best bits are judged on their own merits (and my sense of space becomes more accurate; no longer do I keep shifting my attention to the nearest awesome place). A few years back when I was living in Columbus, I drew maps of the city from memory, and the places I liked ended up being larger, with entire areas of the city smooshed together if I normally overlooked them).
This works on memories too, and I started to apply this perceptual filter (or un-filter?) to my memories of NYC. Weird. I started to apply them to memories of people I know, but realised that this would be pretty scary. My friends, the woman I'm interested in, my family, I don't think I want to suddenly see them without all the context, annotations, and feelings I've built for them, or at least doing so should probably only be done in dire circumstances, where my feelings get in the way of doing something (e.g. if a dear friend were becoming alcoholic and I were somehow in denial about it because of the friendship). Maybe this is akin to how under certain circumstances of conflict, the ideals we have get stripped away and we're forced (or at least wise) to engage in power politics, something which (should/does) leave us a bit uncomfortable. In both, I think the root perspective (I think I'll call it that) is not something we should want as our regular one; it's there for emergencies and adjustments, but it's our ability to colectively withdraw from it that makes being good to each other and enjoying our lives easier.
Today after work is my second-last moving-stuff to PHL; the cats and computers are coming this time. I'm sure the 5 hour car ride followed by a new apartment will deeply enhance the love my cats feel for me. What could possibly go wrong?