Carefree beach days, planning my tan lines and next snack. No thoughts for carbon emissions or the climate warming 7°C during the lifetime of my future grandkids.
If there were worries, they were about the wrong things. Applying anti-aging cream at 25. Pointless! Who has wrinkles at 25?!?
Collecting frequent flyer points. Also quite pointless now!
In an old post (this brewing was in my drafts for a while – okay, years), my lovely blogger friend Tanja asked what her readers’ travel dreams were. She dreamt of London, always. Mine are not of a place, but rather of the idea of simply going back to those carefree days… before all this.
It’s hard for me to now revive that glamour that travel once had for me. Even without Covid, there’s climate change.
After having kids, I’ve changed into a different person. My blog has been by my side through this change, and if you were to dig up posts from the good old days of 2015, you’d hardly recognize me as the same author.
I remember back in 1999 when people were talking of the big crossover to the year 2000, what might happen. The feared – and yet somehow rather eagerly awaited – Y2K. There was talk of computers everywhere going berserk, causing utter and total chaos. And also talk of how that New Year’s Eve should be the most amazing spectacle ever.
But nothing happened. I spent New Year’s Eve in Brisbane and it was just a night amongst others, except for the fact that I was in the company of my childhood best friend who I hadn’t seen in 12 years.
12 years felt like a long time then, but now I think: it was only 12 years?! Eons have passed since. It’s now been over 30 years since we moved from Brisbane.
At some point, don’t ask when (though it was closer to now than “back then”), I read another blog post which started something like, “Time was invented by man, but measuring time is something we couldn’t do without.”
That makes me wonder: what if our ancestors had never invented the concept of time? Could that even be possible?
Was the concept of time something undeniably unavoidable for humans? What would happen differently if we didn’t track time? Is time manmade or is it something that was discovered?
And what about hours, minutes, seconds? Would they exist without us?
Another article I read (years ago) said the Great Barrier Reef had lost half of its corals in the past 25 years.
In 1999, I scuba dived there, amongst pink corals, colourful fish curious enough to approach us, and an unforgettable giant clam. Sometimes, when really I search my memory, I have a feeling there was a giant pearl inside the giant clam, but I’m pretty sure my mind is just colouring that in. That enormous clam sitting amongst corals, observant and alive, seems so magical the way my mind remembers it, and a pearl would suit it perfectly.
I had no scuba diving training, but in 1999 that wasn’t a problem. The instructor simply took my hand underwater and guided me, separate from the group. I could hear my own breathing in an eery way, and it sounded like Darth Vader was lurking behind me. I had a sensation of drowning, of it being unnatural to be so far underwater like that, and I was scared – but also in awe. Afterwards, we all had prawn dinner in the sunset on the deck of a sailing boat, and watched dolphins jump by in the gorgeous turquoise water. The sand on the bottom of the sea was white and the water so clear you could see everything. Almost each individual grain.
The next day, I snorkeled and saw a reef shark underneath me, and I’m still quite unsure how far down it was. The water blurred distances. But its sharklike shape was instantly recognizable.
Right now, travel and holidays feel distant. Like a plot in a movie, it couldn’t happen to me.
Back when I lived in Paris, a Finnish girl there said, “Finland’s such a bird’s nest”; a safe little haven where people are cozy and sheltered and nothing ever happens. I shook my head, sighing: it was a boring place, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Now, I embrace boringness. I’ve even elevated it to the next level, close to an art form. This suddenly feels like a good place to shelter through the storm.
Time, manmade or not, has a funny way of twisting a person’s perspective.