Monday, August 15, 2016

The Times In Between



I am on vacation. I am by a lake and I am with three friends. It is a type of vacation that is filled but also loose. There are things that punctuate the day. Eating, sightseeing, swimming, drinking, reading, eating again. After being in this type of structure for a few days one notices how time can change. Those same twenty-four hours that you had at home/regular life feel different. It feels both longer and shorter. Time feels elastic, taught at climatic memory making moments but then also thick and sluggish.

While on a trip such as this, the setting is a general stage of expectation. One is expected to have fun. One is expected to socialize. One is also expected to relax. There are requirements involved in restiveness. There is novelty all around you and hence you feel you are in that very thing, a novel, and you and your cast of characters are creating a story.

There is a familiarity to it but then there is improvisation that reminds you that it is actual life. Who you are spending this rarified time with highly determines the arc and feeling of this story. Many times I see people who are in cliques and the revelation of this has glaring clarity. You can see who is in the lead, who are the supports, and who are the flesh props. I often arrange social situations, dinners, trips to the beach, visits to a museum, to be constructed and peopled in a way to optimize the story line I want to experience. Some might call this ‘curating’ ones life but that is just too cringe. I think of it more as creating realities.

Reality is mutable. Who we are, how time, space, and mood feels is flexible and the easiest way to control/influence this is who we select to be a part of our reality. This is a gift. A privileged luxury but it is a powerful thing which, when done well, can literally change your life and who you are.

Subjectivity. The concept of the self and understanding the self is what we are built to seek and to understand. It is one of my core philosophical beliefs that it is only through others that one can understand themselves. It is only through the touch of another that one can feel their own bodies fully. It is only through exchange of thoughts and feelings with others that one can become actualized.

This simplistic necessity is why we do things like go on vacation with friends. Why we plan, organize and move our bodies to be somewhere where we can exchange and create heightened spaces and time to connect and interact.

During this vacationing I have also been struck by the times that come in between the punctuations of activity. The times in between when everyone breaks off, even if they are all in the same room, to internalize. Some isolate themselves more then others either physically or in terms of their presence but there is definitely a noticeable delineation.

It is a social time out. It is an agreement of quite, stop, rest, solitude.

I am one that needs alone time a lot and it makes me feel appreciative that those around me not only respect this but also crave it in their own way. To me this shows perhaps more about a person’s character then when they are playing and participating in the parts of the social interaction construct.

How one recedes and reenergizes makes the ‘on’ that much more sparkly and clear. This also makes all this constructing reality have some breathing room for honesty and privacy. Although one might be sharing rooms, hours, days with others what you are experiencing and what they are experiencing is completely different. This is the magic of it all. Knowing that realities are simultaneous and ever changing even when you are sitting right next to each other.