Saturday, November 29, 2008

Memory Tells Its Own Story

It's a Beijing sky today.

Cognitive dissonance - I look up at the sky and then look down at street level and am surprised to see street signs and billboards that I can read.

But today, it's not a longing kind of nostalgia, not exactly. It feels more like a... happy secret, that I still remember. Because one day, I know I won't. Those reminders and connections will require ever increasing effort to reach.

Ergo wrote a post on the movie, My Blueberry Nights, and in her review, she wrote that "It transmits frequencies - love, lostness, connection, uncertainty, strength, desire, floating, seeking, loss, alienation, buoyancy, the curious intimacy that you can only share with strangers."

This reminds me of a conversation I had with her recently on the known versus the unknown.

A cursory look at my history and preferences might suggest that I'm addicted to what's new. But that's not how I'm wired at all. I like to KNOW. And I will go to great lengths to hold myself apart until I feel that I do, at least enough. New people and places might interest me, but only in the most superficial of ways. It's knowledge of a thing, person, or place that turns me on.

Every once in a while, I think I should work to change that. Because every once in a while, I read something that resonates with me, like Ergo's words, "the curious intimacy that you can only share with strangers."

But that's not today.

Today, I'm thinking that I need to visit Beijing and Hong Kong before they change beyond my recognition. Before I change beyond their recognition. Both those cities, particularly Beijing, have changed, according to my friends who live there. They tell me that I wouldn't recognize it anymore.

I want to see those changes. Like catching up with a friend you haven't seen in many many years. But despite any pleasure in the "changes," you still look for what's known, for what you remember.

I need to visit before everything actually does change. Because when intimacy and knowledge have been hard fought to win, their loss feels that much greater.

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