In five days time, I will be returning to Oxford, having stocked up on sunshine, medications, motherly hugs and friendship-time. It’s a shame that the only one of those that I can carry with me back to England is the meds.
If I could put some sea and sun in a jar in order to peak into it on particularly blurry, damp, dreary days, I would. I would scamper around the Tel Aviv beach, no matter how silly I looked, and catch sunbeams and whiffs of sea until I had a tidy little row of glass jars to pack in my suitcase.
With modern technology, it’s arguable that I can stock up on friendship-time and the voiced equivalent of motherly-hugs over Skype or email or whatever, but the truth is there isn’t anything quite like putting your arms around someone, just as emails can never convey the exact sentiment r gush of love that you wish they would.
Ironic, is it, that I’m writing this on a social media platform of a kind that I could never take advantage of in days of yore? Not at all. I am extremely grateful for the advent of social media. Moreover, I am not one of those to moan and groan that the old days were better and that the future holds horrors beyond measure. While the future terrifies me sometimes, it is only because of irrational ideas like the loss of books, which, thankfully, I don’t think will actually happen in my lifetime (so I can selfishly try to not care about that particular fear),
The fact is that with my (only partially freely chosen) lifestyle, involving several countries as it now does, I simply wouldn’t have been able to keep in touch with the friends I have if the internet didn’t exist. But it does, and so I am able to keep my flesh and blood friends through the 0s and 1s of networks I only partially understand the concepts of.
The important thing, though, is balance. As long as I can hug someone for every Tweet I get and have a conversation for every blog post I read or write, I’ll continue to be happy. And that, as far as I’m concerned, is a choice that is in my power to make.