Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big Yellow Taxi

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till its gone?
-Joni Mitchell

The above two lines hold a large truth elegantly. In the text below, I belabor the same point. Needlessly, selfishly, and in a most narcissistic manner. But narcissism is the nature of the Internet Medium, I once heard, so I suppose it can't be helped.


Human perception has a cruel flaw. It only sees clearly what is already receding from it. Youth, for example. Or, to name another totally hypothetical example, the kindness, grace, and basic decency of the human being whose door you are walking out of for the last time. When they were present the image was a muddle. Too near the sensor to be resolved, lost in the noise and reflection of everyday existence.

And then they are gone, and everything is thrown into stark relief, as if rimmed by the sharp-angled light of the dying evening sun.


There are things in your life now. Things you aren't seeing. Things you won't see until, god forbid, you lose them.

Try to appreciate those things, ok? Do it for me. For Christmas.

Or be left like me, trying to soften the edges of the brittle comfort of the company of digital bits with a six-pack and a Richard Buckner CD.

And knowing that this is likely to be the basic state of my existence from here on out, until Oblivion finds me, tells me that all these moments I think I have stolen from her she has really just lent me, in her infinite kindness. And that now, of course, she must take them back.

And suddenly, as I lose them, I know what I have lost.

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