Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Next Question

When I was living in Bridgewater, I used to get the usual barrage of catalogues in the mail that I never sent away for nor purchased a thing from. My recycle bin, which I carried to the curb once every two weeks, was always littered with them. Every once in a while, one would catch my eye and I would flip through it. One of them was a book catalogue. I was never one for being "told" by a publication bent upon selling sub-standard writing to the masses what I should be reading. However, one ad did catch my eye. A woman had published the first in a three part series retelling the Pride and Prejudice story from the perspective of Mr. Darcy. I was intrigued, so I purchased it. When it arrived in the mail, I was eager to indulge myself in one of my favorite stories yet again, but I stopped short of that. The other two books in the series would not be published for another year, maybe longer given what "writing" does to your time management skills. Instead I put it away, and kept my eyes peeled for the next two books. Gradually, they did come out, and I did acquire copies of them right away. I haven't gotten the chance to read them yet because the last one came out when I started my MA here in England, but I have all three now and I will be able to read them.

Just recently, I fired off an e-mail to a former college professor of mine. He didn't teach my discipline--he was in the Religious Studies department, and at a Catholic College, he was the person to consult on eastern religions like Hinduism and Islam. I have always really liked him--I think I had a natural affinity for him because both he and I started our separate "tenures" at Holy Cross at the same time. When I finished the letter, I couldn't help but to mention just how long it had been since that beginning. That got me thinking about what that was like back then--who I was, who I am now, of course that figured in. I also thought about how it felt when I was a freshman in college for the first time, travelling a ways from home to attend a school without any students I knew. I thought about the classes I took, the environment I was in. I remember the people I met--some of whom I still know and speak to today. I remember the late nights before due dates or upcoming tests and watching the sun mercilessly rise in the morning out of one of the wall-sized window panels in the study rooms on the first floor of the dorm. I remember my room--what side I was on, how I set it up, and then, the mammoth effort my roommate and I made about mid-way through the year to rearrange it just for the sake of change. I remember the beginning of the long, complicated relationship I had throughout college that to this day I still wonder whether it should or should not have happened. I knew that feeling was somehow unique then, and that I would never have it again--and at least thus far, I was right. However, I am not sure what that feeling was or why I felt it.

When I started going to Holy Cross, the TV show "Felicity" debuted, too. I never became an avid viewer, and that is probably because I have never been one to sit in front of the set on a certain day at a certain time. Regardless, somehow I knew that because of that corellation of time, there would be something about it that drew me to it, and even more so because it was about a girl who was doing the same thing I was at the same time. Like the Pride and Prejudice novels, though, my immediate instinct was not to watch it than to become a regular viewer. Instead, I didn't want to be left hanging from episode to episode, so I waited on purpose, knowing one day I would pick up the series and watch it, but only after it had run its course and I could see it all at once rather than once a week.

Now, eight years after I was a freshman in college, I am watching the series. It brings a lot of little things back that I had completely forgotten, even though I never watched the series while it aired so there was never the creation of association in the formal sense--I wasn't watching a certain episode at a certain time when X happened, for example. In a lot of ways, it is juvenile, but I had no expectations beyond that. There is no particular reason why now is the time as opposed to a year ago or a year from now, either. It just somehow struck me one day in the recent past to use the time I have now in that way. I don't think any epiphanies are going to come from it. Instead, because I am about to move on from my most recent "change of life and place", it seemed only fitting to revisit the first real example of that in my life.

I remember wondering where I would be four years after college ended. Now I know the answer, and maybe it's time for me to come up with another question. Maybe this time it shouldn't be about time. Time matters, but not as much as I originally thought then. Maybe I shouldn't come up with a question at all. Or maybe it's just nice to have things like that to fall back on because they become our own personal time capsules--reminding us of where we were then and then forcing us to acknowledge not just where we are now, but where that may be going in the face of how much our expectations have changed.

8 comments:

"Angeldust" said...

Hi there,
Have you heard the news from Montreal's Dawson College?

captain corky said...

It's strange...the kind of tricks time plays on you. The other day I woke up and I was 35 years old living in Kentucky. I never would have imagined myself living in Kentucky.

How could anyone imagine themselves living in Kentucky? Yet here I am.

Historical Wit said...

ahhh...time. That invention of mankind so everything would not happen at once. Time is something that really is relentless. Never more than what it is, and never less, but always there. The one thing all of us need to recognize is that we are all finite and time as we know it will end for us. People that chose to ignore that are, for lack of a better word, ignorant. At the turn of the century I had no prospects, was a short order cook and lived in my mothers garage, barely 6 years later married with one kid and homeowner with a decent job. Not great, but i get to blog a lot. ha ha. Still time saw it happen. and it chose not to tell me about it!

SavvySunshine said...

LOL at Captain Corky! I know that this isn't the wittiest comment, but I think that Capt Corky's comment really says everything. We have no idea where we're going to be in 5 years, etc. I think that's how it should be.

Sunshine

Matt said...

The passing of time is scaring the hell out of me lately. I better get busier in many different respects while I still have the chance!

I figure, being 30-ish, that your younger years are worth many times more than your older ones. So that's a scary way of looking at it. Aging three "quality years" for every chronological year.

I should stop thinking that way.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Time is scary; it always is, so the best we can do is accept it.

Historical Wit said...

make it so picard

Nihilistic said...

I can't believe you bought a book and held onto it for a few years just waiting for the others...I would have long forgot about that book and never read it if I did that...