Unless we make and maintain a real-life connection with people we can be basing our ideas of them from what we made of them in the past.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I read a lot, I watch a lot of videos and listen to a lot of recordings.  I think there is no adequate substitute for an on-going, face-to-face relationship, but even then you can’t know anyone completely.  You can have your ideas about them, but we even surprise ourselves about ourselves, look back at what we did, said, thought, believed, the way we saw things and wonder how we ever could have, if we were out of our minds.  We are embarrassed at ourselves sometimes.

Sometimes I can watch a video which I see in the context of a relationship that doesn’t have much offline existence.  If it is from a while ago I sometimes find that, regardless of what might have happened in between times, seeing that video now brings everything back and fixes it in the present, because nothing else is happening NOW, and for some reason they have chosen to bring it up at this time.

When I watch something on the TV or listen to something on the radio, or read something, I sometimes have to remind myself that what I am seeing or hearing is or was happening in relation to someone who is not me.  I might think they seem really nice, but what if they met ME?  I might have a different experience of them because I am not the person I saw them with.

I wrote on Krishna Das’s Facebook page once that I had a dream to sing with him.  I’ve noticed since then that other people have written similar things.  I was playing one of his albums with my mother on Monday, A Drop of the Ocean, with Sultan Khan.  It was released in 2004, about 3 years after 9/11, and I see it in relation to that these days.  But I was going off on one with her, about how I loved the way he spoke and sang on it, and how I would love to sing with him, then I said something like, ‘but that’s the way he sounds with Sultan Khan.  I love the way he sounds on this, but it isn’t an interaction with me, it is with someone else, and what I am hearing and loving on this album might not exist with me.  He feels something with him that he might not feel with me, and that is why he sounds as he does.’.  I sing back to his voice all the time when I play his music, but really it’s a bit like singing in the shower.  What I am hearing was with someone else, it isn’t with me.

I think any media presentation is something we are essentially removed from.  If it is from the past it only tells us about the way things seemed at that time to the people who made it or wrote it.  We can get an illusion of identification or understanding or that we agree, sometimes.  I often see people’s comments and agreements on Facebook.  I think it’s a really illusory platform, when it comes to following celebrity pages and things like that.  Do we really know what people meant, from their lives, by what they said, in order to agree with it?  It is, more often than not, our interpretation of what they said that we agree with or not, and I have been taught that our interpretation says more about us than it does about what we are interpreting.  I often find that I can write something and view it differently afterwards than when I first wrote it.  Within seconds, sometimes, especially if it is a Facebook reaction.  Because I don’t really know them, and I sometimes think it is inappropriate for me to be trying to interact with them at all and thinking and feeling what I do, expressing what I choose to express and holding back on other things, sometimes.  That’s the way we all are, even in real life.

But definitely, when it comes to old videos and things, I think we really need to get to grips with the truth that ‘that was then, this is now’.  Or as someone famous put it, ‘the past is another country’.  How we deal with it when it comes up in a relationship that isn’t happening in any other way is something I find a bit of a conundrum and, being me, can get all upset and guilt-trippy about.  If it’s not happening, it’s not happening.  And if it is and I’m not being let into it, for me it is still not happening.

As so often, I am already plagued with embarrassment and self-doubt about what I have written even before I publish it.  See – so lots of other people are the same.  What we write or otherwise express is not necessarily a slice of our reality.

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