“This should be enough , to know somebody’ s name and wait for the rest of the life to know who he is, if we will ever come to know it, as what is is not the same of what has been and what has been is not the same as what will become.”
José Saramago – Baltasar and Blimunda
Most fascinating theme, the changing of people and self.
Becoming, which is not merely the passing of time, becoming older.
Becoming has the flavour of the loss, of the unavoidable change of people and things, so that something is always, unavoidably lost, if nothing else the naiveté of feelings and relationships.
It is not only that we lose sight of each other, this is still the lesser part. People that you no longer meet, no matter how painful the break up was, remain preserved in your memory.
At the time of the fracture the pain and despair for the loss of a major relationship, a love, an acquaintance, a friendship or even simply the end of an intense and gratifying work relationship may have prevailed. But in the end you realize that the relationship remains preserved in the memory just as it was, untouched by the time like a stuffed animal in a museum.
A much worse condition is the relationship which is not interrupted, nonetheless changes, beyond any reason, evolves, becomes of a different nature and essence, and this change cannot be ruled. Then you really feel powerless and just observe that what once was is no longer in place and that person is not disappeared, not at all, he or she is still there, but still things are not the same. Nothing is really changed, and nothing is what it used to be. This does not result in pain like the rude fact of losing somebody, it rather gives rise to compassion, like seeing your favourite garment becoming weary.
We change a little bit every day, a tiny change beyond notice, every morning we wake up slightly different from what we were the day before, so small the change that we cannot notice at all, like standing on a platform in extremely slow motion. Our equilibrium is of a dynamic nature, is the equilibrium of the biker who has to keep riding, and if it stops, his equilibrium is lost.
This is true for all of us, of course, so that the people that are around us also keep slowly changing all the time, they also have to keep riding not to fall. And there is no guarantee that during the ride they will remain close to you. Some run faster, some slower, some are simply taking a different direction and start putting space in between. Not much space in the beginning, perhaps, the paths are not diverting that much, however with time the distance starts building up, it becomes remarkable, then it becomes absolute and unforgiving, and nobody is at fault, it is not a matter of a deliberate choice, things simply have turned out this way, nothing more to say.
It may even hurt, this course of events, you could try to resist, pretend to come back as the things were before, but this is impossible, the river only flows in one direction.
Now, this thing makes me feel strange, it fills me with sadness, or I should better say empathy, infinite compassion for everybody undergoing this experience.
One of my favourite movies, or maybe “the” favourite, “Once upon a time in America” by Sergio Leone”, is the movie of my life because it shows this feeling to perfection, better than anybody could dream to do, this compassion of the main character for the loss, the unrecoverable and unwanted loss, for the hurting that life causes to us for the simple fact of living it.