Thursday, 8 June 2017
45 YEARS AND COUNTING (DOWN?)...
There was a moment in the '70s that I thought would last forever - and me along with it. However, that moment eventually passed, and any illusions I had of immortality faded like the dying rays of the sun - as perish most of our hopes and dreams before life's fleeting journey has run its course. I'm reminded of this every time I see yet another part of my past vanish from my life, suddenly and without warning.
On June 14th, which is a Wednesday, it will be 45 years since I first moved into the house in which I currently reside. However, I've lived here for only 41 years, because 11 years after moving in, we flitted to another home in a different neighbourhood. Just over 4 years later we returned - and I'll have been back here for precisely 30 years come August 1st. (The official tenancy commencement date is Tuesday 4th, but we moved in 3 days early on the Saturday.)
Anyway, with the approaching anniversary of having first moved into this abode, I decided to take a trip along to my former neighbourhood, the one from which we moved in 1972. On the way there, I noticed that 14 trees had been cut down, and when I arrived at my destination, I saw that another couple at the bottom of the street where I'd lived had also been removed. To my mind, it was like discovering that 16 childhood friends had suddenly expired, and been disposed of before I'd had a chance to pay my respects.
I resent change. Sometimes I feel as if I no longer live in the town I grew up in, but rather one that bears a bit of a resemblance to it. It's almost like living in an alternate universe, wherein I spend my time wondering if I'll ever be able to figure out a way to return to my own. I wish I were The MOLECULE MAN, because then I could revert everything back to how it all used to be. Once more I'd be able to visit vanished buildings and places I knew as a youth, and feel as if I belonged again, instead of (just like MEL TORME) a stranger in my own home town.
There's a time in life when we feel 'in-sync' with the world, that it's there for us and dances to the same beat that we do. Then, one day, we suddenly realise that we no longer recognise the tune and that it's best to 'sit this one out'. It's then we know that 'our' moment has come and gone, and that we've now become spectators, as opposed to the partici- pants we once were. Other dancers have taken to the floor, and we can only observe and wonder what happened to the melody and lyrics. For us the dance is over, and willingly or not, we must accept our relegation.
There was a time when I felt at home in this neighbourhood. It was mine (or, at least, as much mine as anyone's), and I was one of its younger inhabitants, and an inheritor of what the future would bring. Now, however, I'm one of the rapidly diminishing 'old guard', and a brash, new, fresh contingent of youngsters overrun the place, treating it as their own. I often find myself feeling like an intruder who's invading their space (much as I feel like they're intruders invading mine), and I realise the gossamer nature of the sense of 'belonging' we humans feel in relation to our surroundings, and just how transient it can be.
Anyway, to be honest, I never really had a clear idea of where I was going with this when I started, and it's now become a bit meandering so I'll draw it to a close. If it's prompted any thoughts or observations of your own, feel free to record them for posterity in our contemplative comments section. We may get something worth reading out of this post yet, so don't be shy now.
Posted by Kid at Thursday, June 08, 2017