Life lately has been… sweet.
A few weeks ago, or maybe it has been a month, I’m not entirely sure as I’ve lost track of time, which has been a really wonderful thing. But a few weeks ago I dyed my hair for the first time in seven or eight years and I cannot even describe to you the joy I’ve felt not sharing about it online. It’s so trivial of me to admit this, but I cannot deny the fact that social media takes over so much of our lives that to not post something online seems more absurd or peculiar than to post something. Not that my hair matters at all, because it doesn’t, but it’s a representation of something greater, perhaps. The fact is, every single dot detail of our lives is posted online and it’s been drowning me, quite literally. It’s been a few weeks since I stopped using social media, and life just feels… sweet again.
I don’t know if it’s that I’m a romantic, because I think not, or if it’s that I’m more nostalgic, which I know to be true to a fault, but I get giddy imagining the days before cell phones existed. Remember when we’d go to the park and lay in the grass and be blinded by the sun and run away from bees? We’d roll down the hills and interlock arms and I’d write about you in my diary, all day long. I like to imagine conversations where google doesn’t exist but instead, encyclopedias and old, dusty books and running through library stacks trying to find you. The thought of two souls connecting over words–real, spoken words–with quizzical looks, shyness but clarity. And sometimes I’d end the conversation when I realized who you really were. It would be years later when I’d block you, when before, I only needed to change the coffee shops I frequented, and oh how magical it feels to discover a new, quiet spot to get lost in.
Still, I cannot hate what has brought so many together. Like the first time we facetimed and I was so damn nervous and none of this would exist if it weren’t for phones being able to solve long distance woes. I don’t particularly find it romantic, thinking back 60 plus years ago, writing letter after letter, only to receive one months later, and a call costing a weeks worth of pay, oh no, I find it exhausting. But I do find letters romantic now, because letters are difficult. Letters take time, thought, effort and diligence. Letters mean I was thinking of you enough to stop my busy day, sit down at my desk, get lost in memories for a few moments, and even buy a postage stamp. Letters mean you walked to the post office and licked the envelope shut. Letters mean you’re really still thinking of me in that slow, sweet way, in a world that demands rapidness.
Time floats on. I have twenty thousand photos sitting in my dropbox that I’ll never look at again because excess, excess, excess. So the other day I printed seven photos and taped them in my journal so I would never forget those moments. And if a fire were to happen and those pages were to burn, I suppose I’d scroll through those twenty thousand memories, angry at some for resurfacing and remembering ones long forgotten. Or maybe, maybe I’d simply take your hand and tell us to live new memories, and to not worry about the ones burned, for whether they physically exist or not, they exist because time exists and the past, though we cannot access it, is somewhere in those swaying trees. Our voices running through their roots, waiting for the universe to make sense of itself. Trees telling stories, whispering secrets to one another. They quiet themselves when I enter the forest, for they know that noise isn’t good. They know that in silence there is breath.