Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sandals


I was glancing through some old Stranger posts when I came across the image above. I shared that one with you on January 11, 2013, just over three years ago now. I captioned that photo "My two pairs of shoes. I wear the flip-flops to and from work (and everywhere else). When I get to work I change into my 'business' sandals, pictured on the right. Truthfully, most of the day I walk around my office barefoot. Life is hard in Palau."

I had a weird sensation when I saw this photo just now. I remember the feeling so vividly of switching into the sandals on the right that I can still feel exactly where the clip would uncomfortably rest under my foot, since I was usually too lazy to put them on correctly by clipping them in place. I can still feel the way that relatively cool tile floor felt on my bare feet, which were firmly planted against it for most of the day in that Palauan office. I remember so vividly looking down at those feet many times a day, unfazed by the dozens of ants usually crawling on them.

But more than anything, I remember so clearly what it was like to live that life. When I wrote "Life is hard in Palau" I knew that in that context the statement would come across facetiously, although I secretly meant it sincerely.

Somehow three years have gone by since I sent that image across the quiet Pacific and into your homes, wherever you were. And while in a lot of ways it sort of feels like everything has changed, my connection to this image and the way it is making me feel right now is leaving me with a sense that nothing has changed.

And that's strange. And it's strange that I can feel the feeling I'm feeling so deeply and be unable to explain that feeling to you any better than I just have.

It's strange that I can so deeply long for aspects of that past while simultaneously so dramatically proclaim gratitude that that past has passed.

And while I recognize that the change, the one that has made that time feel so foreign to the who-I-am-now, is ultimately a very good thing, I can't help but wish I could somehow undo a bit of that change.

I think that's ok.

~It Just Gets Stranger

15 comments:

  1. Here's my blog post for tonight: http://kickinaroundideas.blogspot.com/2016/01/welcome-brazil-and-palau.html

    Who did you send my way, Eli? :)

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  2. This post made me think of Daniel. I met him before I ever read you blog, and I found your blog by googling him. I think it's strange that you two live so close, I often see you both at the gym, and yet he never appears on your blog anymore....

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    1. I thought of him too! I sometimes see him when I am leaving work. I wonder if he sees strangers just staring at him because of this blog while he is going about his day and if he thinks it's weird/creepy or just funny.

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    2. Where is Daniel?! Why is he not in Eli's life anymore?! Bring Daniel back!

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    3. Daniel was my first thought of what this was about too. Maybe it's not but the way you talk reminds me of when I think back on times past with old friends who for whatever reason have drifted out of my life. Eli, I feel you 100%

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  3. So poetic. Thank you.

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  4. I miss Daniel too. I can only assume that you two are no longer close, which is sad, but happens I suppose.

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  5. I love the way you worded this:

    "It's strange that I can so deeply long for aspects of that past while simultaneously so dramatically proclaim gratitude that that past has passed."

    I think everyone can relate to that feeling on some level.

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  6. I feel like I completely understand what you're saying with this post. Time is a funny thing, isn't it?

    Also, re: the above comments about Daniel...I thought he moved away??

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  7. Time it was
    And what a time it was, it was
    A time of innocence
    A time of confidences

    Long ago it must be
    I have a photograph
    Preserve your memories
    They're all that's left you.

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    1. It's like you climbed into my brain.

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    2. Well, that made me tear up.

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    3. Seriously could not have quoted a more perfect song for this post. It gave me chills.

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  8. "that that past has passed." English is weird. This sentence makes complete sense...

    Also, beautiful post. While we haven't had the same experiences, we can all relate.

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