Monday, 12 March 2007

Waiting for a Connection

If life is like a journey then I am at the airport. Waiting for my connection I think. At that moment when what you've left behind is so close that you can see it everywhere. In those little objects which, robbed of their context, provide irrefutable proof of a life that was. That song. That smell. That book you started reading in another time and place which, sitting out of context on that plain chrome chair, is somehow both present and absent.

There, in the lounge of some unknown airport, which barely acknowledges the state or culture to which it owes its existence - they are all reassuringly the same - you have not yet arrived. You can sit and savour those memories one last time before they are replaced by the necessities of the life to come, in that almost tangible closeness of memory to mind which dims so swiftly upon arrival.

Better, the distance between you and that place which contained your existence only a few hours ago is infused with perspective.. There is nothing like the unutterable calm of knowing that whatever and whoever loomed over your daily existence will henceforth remain as a lesson to be stored away or a sweet reminder of the frail and transient beauty of that narrative we call our lives.

If we are going to learn from our experiences it is at times like these. Before long, past times take on the appearance of dreams, which, like dreams, we doubt. But when we lived those things, they were real to us. And we must take that reality, learn from it, and use it as we move on.

Without that knowledge, we are simply victims of circumstance, changing with the seasons. With it, by contrast, we come to synthesise those truths we stumble upon throughout this strange journey into the unknown.

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