Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Yesterday, I got my airline tickets for India in January, meaning I’ve taken the first real step towards my sabbatical journey there next winter. The main thing I feel, apart from excitement and trepidation, is envy towards my future self, that lucky stiff who gets to go to Mysore and study yoga at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute for almost two months.

It’s funny to have an emotion for someone who doesn’t even exist yet, even if that person will eventually be oneself. But perhaps it’s not much different than having feelings for someone who no longer exists; for instance, I still love my parents even though they’re dead or I can look back at the young man I once was and feel a kind of wistfulness that I’m no longer him.

And I suppose we can even take it farther, into fictional realms. I can be—and have been—angry at characters in a book or a movie and many is the time been moved to tears by films, even animated ones. So maybe it’s not so odd to overflow with feeling at no longer or yet-to-be extant beings given how common it is to be so moved by people (or even animals) who never were nor will ever be.

I wonder why human beings (or me, anyway) have such a surfeit of emotion; seems like it would be a lot more efficient for us to only have feelings about things that for which having feelings about might make a practical difference. After all, back in 8th grade, when I was jealous of my ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, I was able to confront him and get punched in the nose for my trouble; now, though, when I feel grateful for taking the skank off my hands, I can’t possibly give him the high-five he deserves.

In the end, feelings just feel weird sometimes; I’m hoping the person I’ll be in March will have some insight I don’t.


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