Last night was the night before. The night before the day that would change everything, or maybe nothing but the scenery. Change is scary, change is good, change is something that all people need, from time to time.
In the wee hours of today, when it still counted as last night, as that night before, I blogged about the anxiety of packing, the departure from loved ones, the nibbling enough of my nephews’ adorable cheeks to last me for a few months, the gazing at my new niece as she opens her eyes to a world of Kustanowitzes (good luck, kiddo). I blogged about the moving from one place – a known, if tedious, quantity – to another vista, another social scene, another set of opportunities, many of which I can’t even fathom as I stare at a half-packed suitcase or at a row of rapidly filling airport chairs at gate B20 at JFK.
In last night’s musings, I pondered the nature of leaving, how it inspires some people to be supportive and others to be passive-aggressive. I talked about moving out of an apartment after a decade. I remembered the goodbye party in New York, which included representatives from three decades, and provided a certain symmetry of closure to my years in the City.
There’s something about departures that inspired regret and apologies from people whose presence in my final New York moments is greatly treasured.
A few moments after I finished the post about all of this – the why now, and what I hope to find so far away -- my computer automatically shut down, before I had pressed save. Sometimes Typepad has an autosave, so I was hoping that some of the words had been preserved. But on repowering, there was nothing. No evidence of an active brain late at night, way past the point where anyone should have been awake. I thought for a few minutes that I had dreamed the whole incident, and decided it was a sign that I needed some real sleep.
Next morning, I wake up. Am I really doing this?
Now, I’m in the airport listening to people making their last calls to whomever they speak to before they get on an airplane. In reconstructing the thoughts of last night, through a haze of morning and very little sleep, I’m discovering that there is an echo of last night in this morning. The essence behind the original post – now lost – remains imprinted on my brain or in the memory of my individual fingers pressing into the keyboard.
It reminds me of something that I recently rediscovered: that there’s an imprint that people leave on memory, and sometimes even on the active energy of a place or an image. These things exist beyond you and are part of you, they are ghosts of the living, and forever, when you see that place or hear that song or phrase, you are reminded.
I’m doing a manual reset, an automatic reboot of life as I’ve known it. Powering up, I’ll realize that some of the words have been lost, but the sentiment remains, and perhaps that echo is the essence of the emotion, the impetus, the self.
See you all in California.