Letter to a friend, pt. 1

Haven’t written lately.. here’s something personal if anyone wants to know how I’ve been. From a letter I wrote to K. about a month ago: (quote/)

Last night I had a serious existential meltdown. I felt
simultaneously as if I had to invest more in my friends and family,
and make a drastic change. I felt selfish, as if I’m living purely for
my own sake, dancing on the backs of all the people that support my
way of life, both locally and globally, all cared-for and subsidized
in worry. I thought about spending some serious time volunteering, and
how it would necessarily hurt my career, and how maybe I should forget
it and try to become a writer. I thought a long time about what I want
out of my life, where I want to be, what I would be proud to look back
upon and what I didnt want to miss… and all I could come up with was
that life is shorter than we can imagine and what is missed is missed.
I can’t figure out if the place where I live makes no difference or
all the difference. Being here is tough. I am having so much fun and
experiencing many new things and learning, but I also feel alone,
drifting, suffocated. I don’t think I’ll stay after my masters. I see
how people here never lose touch, how loathe they are to let new
friends in because they never let go of the old.. and its true. Maybe
some of the problem Ive had making new friends stems from the fact
that I can only divide my attention so many times.. and Ive been
trying to keep in touch with everyone back home.. I feel as if I can’t
let people go, and it makes me feel old. I wonder how my grandparents
can go to one friend’s funeral after another, and still come home and
make plans for the coming years.

[ ]

Other than that,
things are good. I had a wonderful time down in Eilat at the reefs
doing research and studying and snorkling and diving, etc. The people
were really great, too. I learned to identify and understand lots of
coral, fish and other taxa, which I love because then I understand
what I see when I explore the reef. In my line of work, mortality is a
ubiquitous theme. Every thing of beauty is senescent, even on the
global scale. They say the earth may lose its coral reefs in the next
20-30 years. I go down for another concentrated course in a week.
Looking forward to it.
I have to change my masters research topic since the fish farms are
being pulled out, and have a meeting on Tuesday with a professor who
works in the Kinneret. He is doing interesting hydrological/food-web
modeling stuff and I wouldn’t mind working in fresh water.. its more
useful and important than the ocean but far less magical. I’m still
super-stressed about my math class and money, but I know that things
will work out in the end. It looks like I’ll be here at least another
year and a half…

Some things that are keeping me sane: time in the field, archaeology,
sunsets, the stars, good books, good boots, meeting new people, my mom
visiting, the visit home in February, daydreams of Cyprus, the sea,
the plants in my veranda, the land breeze, cooking. I need more time
to write and more time to exercise. The technion (university) is full
of gray people with little eyes. I wish I could visit.. how is your
inner life?

[ ]

The Dead Sea is flat as an insult. The mountains are down on all
fours. Everything is a mist.
It is beautiful here… remember?

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~ by jonlib on January 31, 2008.

One Response to “Letter to a friend, pt. 1”

  1. I’m glad to see you’re still writing in this thing– there was nothing doing in december, and I was worried you’d abandoned my main source of Jon-news.
    -g.

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