I told a friend I’d send her this link, so this is a good way to do it. If you DIDN’T find me through my good friend aisha, then you should check out her blog, here. I’m also going to say that if you like that, you should also check out one of our other friends, ‘nilla, and you can find her here. Both of them have actually mentioned me in recent blogs.
I can hardly say that word to myself without hearing David Bowie, belting out “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes…”
I’ve had a lot of changes lately, though maybe we always have a lot of changes and these are just more visible changes, or ones I recognize more.
Walt Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large – I contain multitudes.”
Isn’t that a great way to look at it, though? That you contain multitudes.
I know that I do. I had a vanilla friend this morning tell me I was the nicest dominatrix she knew.
She admitted to not knowing any others, too, but she said, still, I think you’re the nicest.
It’s funny that sometimes people believe that just because you’re a kinky person, and a Top, you won’t be nice?
So, anyway, back to change.
I found another quotation I liked, by Neil Gaiman, from The Graveyard Book:
“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
And ain’t that the truth? You’re always you, no matter what, and you’re always changing, no matter what.
Seeing my old friend, or maybe my former old friend as it turned out, reminded me of that. I don’t feel that different from the poor kid growing up with a relatively crazy mother in a little tiny town in the middle of a great big desert.
But clearly, I am very far from that person.
The last passages of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie also come to mind:
“I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further – for time is the longest distance between two places.
Not long after that I was fired for writing a poem on the lid of a shoe-box. I left Saint Louis. I descended the steps of this fire escape for the last time and followed, from then on, in my father’s footsteps, attempting to find in motion what was lost in space. I travelled around a great deal.
The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly coloured but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass. Perhaps I am walking along a street at night, in some strange city, before I have found companions. I pass the lightened window of a shop where perfume is sold. The window is filled with pieces of coloured glass, tiny transparent bottles in delicate colours, like bits of a shattered rainbow. Then all at once my sister touches my shoulder.
I turn around and look into her eyes. Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me but I am more faithful than I intended to be! I reach for a cigarette, I cross the street, I run into the movies or a bar, I buy a drink, I speak to the nearest stranger – anything that can blow your candles out! For nowadays the world is lit by lighting!
Blow out your candles, Laura – and so goodbye…”
Isn’t that true – time is the farthest distance between two places. Google tells me that the house I grew up in is 2082 miles from where I sit now, from the house in which I have lived for most of the last 22 years.
It tells me it would take me 33 hours to get there.
It would take me much longer to go back, though, wouldn’t it?
I haven’t lived in Nevada since 1978. I haven’t lived in that house since 1976.
Thirty-five years, more or less, is a long time.
Google tells me that I would head west, across Indiana, then Illinois, then Missouri, then Kansas, then Colorado, then Utah, and finally into Nevada. I also grew up in the western part of Nevada, meaning I’d be driving across Nevada, too.
So I suppose I’ve changed all along, every day, whether I noticed it or not.
It’s like when you don’t see someone for a long time, you notice how they’ve changed. When you see them every day, you don’t notice the progression of time.
Proximity blocks our vision, in the way that sometimes to see what it is at which you are looking, you have to pull away a bit, give your eyes a chance to focus.
We are too close to ourselves to see the gradual changes, we only feel the ones that seem sudden and cataclysmic, and often, though not always, the ones that are imposed on us by forces beyond our control.
So, what is the conclusion, after all that, if there is one?
Change is uncomfortable, it’s like breaking in a new pair of boots, you miss your old and comfortable ones, even though you know that you need the new ones, even though the old ones are really not an option anymore, and it seems unfair to have to go through this again.
And then, a few months later, you notice that they new boots have become your comfortable old boots, the rough spots worn away.
Time is the longest distance between two places