... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
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08-02-2015, 03:28 AM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2015 04:08 AM by DLJ.)
... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
So I'm back in England (quite possibly, for the last time) and I'm at my parent's house (perhaps for the last time)...

If you have not experienced it, there is a sense of pathos in almost every once familiar view from a train, every conversation, every embrace when you know, but those around you do not, that this will never happen again.

It's the difference, in a movie scene, between seeing someone do something for the first time and later seeing it again but this time with the knowledge of an unraveled back-story and now you (the viewer) and the character (on screen) are painfully aware that it will be... for the last time.

I move to new countries quite often and travel a lot so this is a very familiar feeling for me but this trip is the most intense... I'm experiencing it in almost every micro action and fleeting thought.

I watched the dawn rise while standing on a wall in the back garden where, as a child, I used to play. The wall is smaller now. The trees are sad and bare. The sky is a more intense shade of grey. The daffodil buds are poking up through the frosty ground under the dying willow that dominates the view. The willow under which the remains of my first cat reside.

I stand on the wall and watch my smoky-steamy breath wisp and curl into the mist around me...

... very probably ...

... for the last time.

So here's the thought experiment:
This is just a state of mind.

Nothing has changed except for the way that I am simulating the future yet it's having a profound effect on me.

So, if you haven't experienced this feeling... try it.

For one day ... just your normal day ... spend the whole day in the mind set of someone who is leaving, or dying or perhaps you are the only one who knows that the world will explode tomorrow. Pick your own scenario but obviously you can't share this information with anyone else you meet.

Only you know that this will be the last time. The last time you see that lovely waiter / waitress in your favourite coffee shop; the last time you cross that road on your way to work; the last time you say goodnight to your children.

Try it for day, or if you can, for a weekday and a weekend day. Then report back and tell us if the experience has changed you and how.

Thanks.
DLJ

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08-02-2015, 03:46 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
Oh! I just remembered...

If there is a sound track playing in your head while you are trying this... what is it?

This is mine:




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08-02-2015, 04:54 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
I lived this thought experiment throughout December - and dropped 25 pounds because of it - don't really recommend it. Nothing like spending Christmas with a family that's not yours to keep, knowing everything's about to change and they'll never love you or look at you the same again once they know.

And again two weeks ago, knowing it was the last night, and the future I thought I had is nothing but a pipedream and all I have is memories. Tucking our son into bed for the last time together, I sang him to sleep with "In the Garden" like I did when he was an infant. In the room dimly lit by the closet light, his sweet little breaths were heavy and he was asleep before the chorus, my cat asleep at his feet.

We then put in my favorite movie, and cuddled on the couch together for the first time in six months, and for the last time. The smell of his tee shirt and deodorant. The breaths. Heartbeats - the S1, S2 audible with my head resting on his chest. Touch of his calloused hands. Taste of his skin. Unspoken words of affection and their deafening silence. Tears he didn't wipe away. Shedding clothes and stumbling across my suitcase in the middle of the floor packed for another workweek, knowing as soon as I returned the house would be dark and empty. The expression of a broken man with distant brown eyes, present physically but already gone. Fine lines more pronounced, long eyelashes. Rough, raw, emotion fueled, anger, regret, poured into passion that won't ever be repeated.

It left me reeling and not ready for it to be over. But then I came back to an empty house, no longer a home. And then he listed himself as single on Facebook, his public declaration we're over. So I'm already making new mistakes, trying to move on. Just wish I could get some damn sleep.




"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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08-02-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
In June of 2009 we gathered in my father's home town for a memorial service. He had died three months earlier in another state. It is the same town where I lived from the age of 11 till my mid 20s. Also the town where one set of grandparents had lived.

Town seemed so small...the loop I used to cruise with friends had lost it's draw. Mom and dad's old house had been purchased a few years before and the new owners had made a lot of changes - too many for me to not be rattled by the differences. I sat in my car and looked at it from across the street - letting it go.

I had worked at the country club where we held the memorial service off and on for years from the time I was a young teen till I left the town and the state. It looked much the same but I was unsettled being a patron and not being in the kitchen or behind the bar. My wedding reception a million years before was the only other time that I wasn't there as part of my employment.

The farm I so loved had been sold years before but we asked permission to scatter some of dad's ashes on the property. The farm that was so much a part of my world for so long was no longer an operating farm. Much was overgrown and the lack of animals and neat crop rows was jarring. It was not the place of my youth.

As we scattered the ashes I realized that I was saying goodbye, not just to dad, but to the place that grounded me for so long. I knew, at that moment, I would 'never pass this way again'.

My 40th high school reunion is this summer. I have said goodbye to that place. I don't know that I will attend. It is no longer my 'home'. I am still quite conflicted as I feel like I have already closed that chapter and am not sure it needs to be reopened, revisited, the wounds rubbed raw again.

Perhaps you really can't go home again. I would say the experience was bittersweet but there was nothing sweet about it.

Yeah, been there - didn't much like it.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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08-02-2015, 07:41 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
I have been there more often than I care to count. My parent's house, the house I grew up in, was the hardest. My home town was hard.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-02-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
When I was about to move to Australia. I went to visit my grandparents for a few days. My grandpa had just discovered he was sick.

When the visit was over I hugged him and said I love you (as we always do) he mentioned this was probably the last time we'd see each other. I told him he was silly and that I love him again. Finished saying my goodbyes to both him and my grandma we headed out.

Pulling away from their house it broke my heart knowing he was probably right.
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08-02-2015, 04:10 PM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
When we were leaving for Oregon, our van was parked between my grandmother's and my mother in law's houses (yes they lived next door at that time).

I thought this was the last time I'd see those houses looking as they were. Both were going on the market to be sold -- inlaws would be following us to Oregon in a couple months.

But my grandparents.....

My last image was my grandfather standing in the doorway. He looked much older. He was holding open the screen door and waving to us goodbye.

That's my last most precious memory of him. I actually had the thought this will be the last time I see him alive. it was.

It's funny now looking back, I had an urge to jump out of our van and give him a hug. We were running late getting on the road, then there was the added complication of pissing off my grandmother. She was a jealous loon I wasn't going to miss. But also knew I'd see her again.

I remained seated.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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08-02-2015, 04:19 PM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)




Get together one more time
Get together one more time
Get together, got to
Get together, got to
Get together, got to

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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08-02-2015, 06:23 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2015 06:28 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
Ode to a grasshopper.




There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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09-02-2015, 08:58 AM
RE: ... For The Last Time (A Thought Experiment)
I was back in Zim a few weeks ago. Same kinda feeling. Except I might go back...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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