I once lived in a green, tree lined little oasis in the middle of a big, bad, smoky, sooty city where the train used to whistle by at all odd hours and the grass used to be lined with unopened buds of red krishnachura flowers from the gigantic trees after summer storms. It was as hot as it is now in the place I live, just as sunny and the house used to have concrete floors with big windows just as they do here where I live now.
But when I went back to see my green place after many, many years (the place I still see in both my dreams and nightmares), the trees were smaller, the roads narrower, the street dogs followed us with some suspicion. A painted blue (toy) swimming pool had replaced the patch of green we used to play on. It was the same place yet not the same place where the kids played in a nearby field with equal gusto.
Returning to this online space after so long feels the same. A place familiar, yet unfamiliar in ways that underscore both the passage of time and the ways one has evolved oneself. There are still some of the old familiar names, many still writing and so many that are new. The interface has changed and many of the old bloggers have evolved in new directions. Some, I see, have developed new insecurities about constantly writing for an audience and are feeling the pressure. Yet, the familiar sense of people exposing their thoughts as they come, from day to day or week to week is still here.
It still feels like a place I know.
In the past weeks and months, so many thoughts have come and gone. So many moments that could have been framed, so many instants that could’ve been recorded that will seem different if recorded now, after layers added to memory via the intervening months.
Something is always lost by not blogging about it. Even the darkest moments gain some value by being framed for posterity.
Yet, as I reenter this space, I feel the passage of time not just on the topography of this space but on myself. I remember the old rush I used to get from writing a post and then immediately hitting the publish button. The number of hits and likes and ebb and flow and the slow dwindling of interest on the posts seem like the distant rumble of music from a far off island at dusk from the shore, gaiety remembered with fondness like late night parties on distant islands.
Time seems to pass faster in online spaces than in life (one hopes). Or perhaps this change I notice between youth and age is more a reflection of changes I could not record in the interim.
My dear device on which I used to write has almost breathed its last. I miss its frayed plastic, it’s partially functioning “3,” the comfort of my fingers traveling familiar distances to reach the keys. It was almost the only constant in my life through the ups and downs of these intervening years. In its place, I type now on a myriad new-fangled devices, none of which I have made my own yet. It seems like the old world of device monogamy is over and one must prepare for a life of complete device polyamory if one is to get with the times and survive.
Yet, though much is taken, much abides. This space survives and perhaps recording change can bring some permanence to slipping time.
Hoping to be a denizen of this space once again if life does not intervene.
Forever hopeful . . .