Rant: Geography - Livre d'Or








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livredor
Rant: Geography
Thursday, 27 May 2004 at 11:34 pm
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rysmiel posted a very poignant piece recently, entitled geography sucks. And I was going to post a comment to it sympathizing and agreeing that yes, geography does suck very, very much. But as I was composing that comment, it started evolving into a long rant about how much I hate geography. I was just deciding that this rant would probably be better as a new post when my baby sister messenged me to say that her boyfriend had dumped her because he couldn't handle the transatlantic thing. So now I really, really hate geography.

I think my motivations for hating geography are rather less noble than rysmiel's. I just want all my people to be near me so that I can enjoy their company, rather because I think I can have much positive impact on their lives (though of course, I do hope that my friends enjoy spending time with me as well).

I hate that my three best friends from uni are in three different continents. I am of course deeply grateful that pseudomonas at least is only a couple of hours away for this year, and that we do see eachother reasonably often. But it's still not the same as being girly best friends and doing the same course and always making shabbat together as if we were a family, and I miss that so much. And I'm deeply grateful that hatam_soferet is going to be in England for at least a few weeks this summer and that I'm going to see her. But I hate that she's been in Israel and therefore unreachable for two years, and I hate that because of financial and time constraints and geography I'm probably only going to see her for one weekend while she's here, and I hate that after this summer she's going to be the other side of the Atlantic and unreachable again for an indefinite amount of time. I appreciate all the effort darcydodo makes to phone me and email me and keep in touch via LJ, and all the virtual time we have together is lovely. But I hate that she is bloody 10,000 miles away most of the time, and that if I see her twice a year at a cost of frightening amounts of money, then that's a near miracle.

I hate that this stupid fact of geography undermined the wonderful amazing couple relationship I had with darcydodo. (This is irrelevant to the fact that I'm happy that we're both in good relationships with different people now; I still wish, in some paradoxical way, that we hadn't ended up splitting up.)

I hate that my entire contact with New A and NZ in the past year has consisted of a handful of emails, the occasional phonecall and very brief visits. I hate that I've only had more interaction than that with loreid is because she's on LJ. I hate that New A is lonely because most of the people he cares about are in America, and I also (selfishly) hate that he's going to be there himself next year, because then I fear I really won't be able to see him enough to maintain the connection between us. I hate that NZ is lonely too because she's stuck out in Dublin and most of her friends are in England or Israel, and I hate that she's had a hard time building up a Dublin social life because she's spent most weekends in London trying to keep up with her uni circle. I hate that loreid has been through all kinds of stuff this year and that most of her friends can't be there for her in person most of the time, and I hate that she's stuck in a long-distance relationship so she doesn't even see enough of kathrid.

I hate that I don't see enough of my close circle from school to be part of eachothers' lives, though I very much appreciate the effort that FL, AN and HFL all make to keep in touch. I hate myself for not being a better correspondent with the people I care about. I hate that I've lost touch almost completely with RG and SC.

I am eternally grateful to MK for being so absolutely determined and stubborn in making sure we stay close despite geography, for bombarding me with answerphone messages and emails until he catches me at a time when we're free to talk, for making sure that he's free to spend at least a little time with me whenever I'm in the London area, and for regarding travelling here to see me as realistic. I hate that even with his making a supreme effort, we're only in touch every couple of months, though. I hate that I've missed seeing his boy grow up and metamorphose from an unutterably cute baby to someone who is beginning to be a person, and that he (little N) barely remembers who I am because I see him so very rarely. And I hate hate hate hate that MK is going to Australia in a few months, because realistically that's too much geography to make it even possible to see eachother for the next several years.

My closeness with doseybat has never been based on spending a lot of time with her, and she's always been a wonderful correspondent, and wonderful at making time to see me in spite of geography. Still, I hate that when she got sucked under a couple of years ago by geography-induced loneliness I didn't know what she was going through and wasn't able to be there for her. I also hate that she's having to cope with a relationship that involves more commuting than is really sane or affordable.

I hate struggling to maintain a connection with PM via the tenuous thread of approximately annual letters. I hate that I didn't discover until several months after the event that she had got married, because she was in Hong Kong at the time. I hate that she hasn't met any of my friends, and because of geography is unlikely to.

I hate that my sibs are scattered round the UK and that we no longer have that casual closeness of growing up together, but that we know eachother too well to specifically make arrangements to see eachother most of the time.

In general terms I hate that in order to go to England to see my friends I have to spend nearly two whole days (and too much money) travelling, and that the time we do have together is too brief and too overcrowded as a result. This applies to lethargic_man also; I'm ok, even content, with only seeing him occasionally and doing lots and lots of intense correspondence in between, but I hate how much of a hassle for both of us to be able to spend time together at all. I hate that there are people I care about deeply who are too far away to see regularly even on this horribly inadquate basis. I hate that soon I'm going to move away from Dundee and I'll be in the same position vis-a-vis the friends I've made here.

And I hate with a passionate fury that geography kept me apart from unanima mea soror Spanish M during a critical two-year period. I can not even describe how much I hate that I've been less than whole for nearly a decade now, and I hate geography for making it near impossible to repair that apartness and brokenness. I'm not going to continue this paragraph because I can't even think about this hatred without crying.

Still, LJ helps a lot. Really, really a lot.


Moooood: morosemorose
Tuuuuune: Red Hot Chili Peppers: My friends
Discussion: 17 contributions | Contribute something

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shreena: heart
From:shreena
Date:May 27th, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
17 minutes after journal entry, 04:56 pm (shreena's time)
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All I can find to say is: I agree. *sigh*
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livredor: mask
From:livredor
Date:June 5th, 2004 11:24 am (UTC)
8 days after journal entry, 12:24 pm (livredor's time)
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Yeah, geography is mean to you as well. Much sympathy.

On a slightly happier note, I really like the pretty new icon!
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(no subject) - monanotlisa (5/27/04 04:38 pm)
livredor: mask
From:livredor
Date:June 5th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
8 days after journal entry, 12:19 pm (livredor's time)
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Yuks, sorry to hear that you've been socked by geography too. I lost the love of my life for a combination of reasons, but it's hard not to think that geography was one of them.
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lisekit: default
From:lisekit
Date:May 28th, 2004 03:43 am (UTC)
12 hours after journal entry
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On the upside, Geography means you can get on a plane and go exciting places!

I haven't seen my dearest Indian friend, Veni, for four years now, and boy am I looking forward to doing precisely that. Friends on other continents rock.
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livredor: ewe
From:livredor
Date:June 5th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC)
8 days after journal entry, 12:30 pm (livredor's time)
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On the upside, Geography means you can get on a plane and go exciting places!
This is true. But the fact is I'm not really a traveller by nature. Even if I get to the exciting place in the end, I hate any kind of travelling, and tend to flap and panic lots about planning trips. I will acknowledge that geography gives pleasure to people like you who are braver than I am about travelling, though. And yay for getting to see Veni again!
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kathrid: default
From:kathrid
Date:May 28th, 2004 05:32 am (UTC)
13 hours after journal entry
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While I don't suffer from loneliness anywhere near as much as some people do (you seem to be one), I do feel that life would be better if everywhere was the same place, as well as being different places. That way you could go interesting places just by walking a bit and not need a plane and you could see your friends and loved ones as often as you wanted.

Basically, what we need is a way of traveling via other dimensions so as to cut journey times to 10 seconds maximum.
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:May 30th, 2004 04:47 am (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 05:47 am (lethargic_man's time)
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Or alternatively, to make use of more dimensions so places don't have to be so far apart. I get the impression that New York is smaller than London because they make more use of z there, so more people can be fitted into a smaller land area. String theory says we live in a ten dimensional universe, but most of these dimensions are curled up on each other at the Planck length (10-35m). We should be making more use of these! You hear about local loop unbundling for the 'phone lines; if we could do that for these extra dimensions no one would have to live far apart ever again!

As for making everywhere the same place, that really is not a good idea at all.

Actually, this whole anti-geography rant smacks of a poor workman blaming his tools. The problem is not with geography for making people too far apart; the problem is with our culture, which encourages people to move, repeatedly, from city to city. Once upon a time people did not do this, and lived boring lives always spent in the same place. Our lives today are much richer; being separated from one's friends as they move on (or you do) is the price we have to pay for this. And I for one would really rather not have gone without.
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livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:June 2nd, 2004 10:36 am (UTC)
5 days after journal entry, 11:36 am (livredor's time)
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a way of traveling via other dimensions so as to cut journey times to 10 seconds maximum
Thank you, kathrid; I like this idea very much. It would allow us to get rid of geography without getting rid of interesting places to visit. Yay!

I should probably clarify; I'm not in fact lonely, I have plenty of lovely people around me. I just miss specific people.
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rysmiel: can't rain all the time
From:rysmiel
Date:May 28th, 2004 07:31 am (UTC)
15 hours after journal entry, 03:31 am (rysmiel's time)
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If I might differentiate a fine shade of meaning, I did not post with the the assumption that I could make a positive impact on people's lives, I just hate not being able to try. Not being able to try hurts - and that is at one level rather more selfish a motive than you are assigning to me.

I could post something as long as this and with as many examples, but there are too many people close to me for whom the reasons why I want to be close to them and able to take care of them might be more private than they would like discussed in that way. Suffice it to say, I sympathise greatly. And could grow nearly as irritated about the barriers geography places on time with more new-made friends as with long-cherished ones.

*hug*
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livredor: mask
From:livredor
Date:June 2nd, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
5 days after journal entry, 11:45 am (livredor's time)
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I did not post with the the assumption that I could make a positive impact on people's lives
*inclines head* I apologize for misrepresenting you, then.

Not being able to try hurts
Yes. I bet it does. I want to be able to say something profound and comforting, but just *sympathetic hugs* will have to do, I'm afraid.

I could post something as long as this and with as many examples
I hope you don't think I wrote this response to your post with any competitive intent! I wanted to list the people who are too far away partly in order to rant, and partly because I wanted to emphasize the positive side of having such lovely people in my life even if I don't see them often enough. But yeah, I can comprehend your being discreet, and I'm deeply sympathetic even though I wrote a new post instead of commenting to yours with sympathy. I perhaps should have done both.

And could grow nearly as irritated about the barriers geography places on time with more new-made friends as with long-cherished ones.
That's also hard on you, and I'm sorry. I think in my case most of the people I've met in the past three years or so are either here anyway, which is how I met them, or they are people with whom my relationship has always been virtual, so I don't pine for what I've never had, if you see what I mean.

*hug*
*smiles gratefully* Thank you, that really is appreciated.
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rysmiel: can't rain all the time
From:rysmiel
Date:June 4th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
7 days after journal entry, 04:54 am (rysmiel's time)
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*inclines head* I apologize for misrepresenting you, then.

No worries, I'd just rather not give the impression of being more noble than I in fact am.

I want to be able to say something profound and comforting, but just *sympathetic hugs* will have to do, I'm afraid.

That sentiment certainly helps. Thank you.

I could post something as long as this and with as many examples
I hope you don't think I wrote this response to your post with any competitive intent!


No, not at all.

I wanted to list the people who are too far away partly in order to rant, and partly because I wanted to emphasize the positive side of having such lovely people in my life even if I don't see them often enough.

I was considering being more specific on very much those grounds, but decided against, ultimately, because I would have had to either skew the sample excessively or intrude on people's privacy; because the people I mnost strongly feel the inability to be with are people who are undergoing specific difficulties with which I would like to be able to offer support more directly.

And could grow nearly as irritated about the barriers geography places on time with more new-made friends as with long-cherished ones.
That's also hard on you, and I'm sorry. I think in my case most of the people I've met in the past three years or so are either here anyway, which is how I met them, or they are people with whom my relationship has always been virtual, so I don't pine for what I've never had, if you see what I mean.


I am all too capable of pining for the real-world company of people I'bve never met in person.

*hug*
*smiles gratefully* Thank you, that really is appreciated.


You are very welcome, my friend. Any time.
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lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:May 28th, 2004 09:50 am (UTC)
18 hours after journal entry, 10:50 am (lethargic_man's time)
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But- <bites tongue>

*hugs*

I hope having a nice Shabbos amongst such friends as are where you are does something to cheer you up.
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livredor: mask
From:livredor
Date:June 2nd, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)
5 days after journal entry, 11:52 am (livredor's time)
(Link)
But- <bites tongue>
Assuming you're biting off one of our typical arguments about whether the advantages of geography outweigh the disadvantages, I'll take it as read. But if you're biting something interesting, then consider yourself pestered to tell me.

*hugs*
*hugs back tightly* Thank you! That's really sweet of you to leave me hugs in reply to this, especially when the combination of festivals and manic work schedules meant we weren't communicating all that much at the time I wrote this miserable post.

I hope having a nice Shabbos amongst such friends as are where you are does something to cheer you up.
I shouldn't post whiny stuff like this in my journal, should I?! I think I came across as more miserable than I really was. People seem to have got the impression that I'm lonely, and I'm not at all lonely, cos as you point out I do have lots of friends near me. I just miss particular people, not a social circle in general, you see? But thank you for your good wishes. Like I said, LJ helps.
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hatam_soferet: default
From:hatam_soferet
Date:June 6th, 2004 12:26 pm (UTC)
9 days after journal entry
(Link)
I hate geography too. Do you remember that plan we had to buy a big house in Oxford by the river, and we were all going to have a commune, and raise chickens? Let's start saving. I hate that I don't have enough money to see everyone I want to see even though I'm in the same sodding country, it would be so much easier if we all lived in Oxford. We can get a punt as well. And we can telecommute to university.
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livredor: mask
From:livredor
Date:July 10th, 2004 01:12 pm (UTC)
43 days after journal entry, 02:12 pm (livredor's time)
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Do you remember that plan we had to buy a big house in Oxford by the river [...] Let's start saving.
I've never forgotten it, badger. And I'm even saving for it in a way; all the money I squirrel away I think about one day using towards a big house with all my friends. Even if it's decades in the future.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 10th, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC)
43 days after journal entry

Comment from MP

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"The problem is not geography. The problem is that so many people have decided, apparently of their own free will, to leave Oxford. If everybody sensibly stayed in Oxford, there would be no problem."
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