Subtitle: A personal meditation on the sense of knowing (or in what sense can anyone say one does or does not know another)
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Or so, the olden saying;
meaning, I suppose,
that separation from a beloved one
or even one once, day by day seen and known,
can cause, compel one to feel more resonantly presently positive
about that now absent from presence person.
As I look over my life, now, in my 7th decade,
I think about those, many of those
who I can say I knew,
who, now, in absence,
them from me and them from me
(not dead, but distant;
living, but worlds apart;
aye, still orbiting the same sun,
but on far different elliptical runs)
I must say I used to know.
I think, as a chronologically, situationally relevant term,
is related – fettered, bound – to
(or, perhaps, better, best said, incarnated in)
instant by instant,
increasing history of given moments.
short of the daily or, at least, regular renewal of knowing,
who can say that one truly knows another?
(This is especially true, I also think,
in the light, aye, immersed in the shadow
of the life-long difficulty of knowing one’s self;
for, as the Apostle saith, we look in a mirror dimly.)
And, I wonder, is this true for you, too,
that there are those,
a few or a many,
with whom you once were related,
but now, no longer?
When I think of my life and my relationships,
there are those who, by the distance of geography,
I no longer see
(and, for long, so long, I no longer have seen)
thus, who I cannot say I know.
For knowing, as an act of remembrance,
howe’er distant, is rooted in my memories of
who they were and
who I was with them and
who they were because of me and
who I was because of them;
but, all of which, no longer in real-time remaining,
no longer pertains.
And then there are those
with whom I no longer have and hold
any particular affinity in attitude or ideology,
in similitude of personal philosophy or theology.
For ‘twas proximity that brought us together,
but, now, given the distance of time and the time of distance,
I see more clearly, that we held no especial kindred sympathy.
(I wonder. Do they see it, too?)
And, notwithstanding the miracle of social media,
the Facebook and Instagram
and any other cyber-led, cyber-fed algorithm,
allowing renewed and continued connection with those far away,
can anyone, any of us truly say:
“Via these means alone, I know you?”