Thursday, December 30, 2010

Come Fly with Me

Having been away for so long, and having been delayed getting home due to the UK airport closures, every interaction with my daughter has become an event in itself. I don't just arrive back home, I bring presents. We don't just spend a day together, we fly to Seattle for dinner. We don't just build the Lego Architecture Landmark kits, we have to make a visit each building on which they're modeled and then buy them there. We don't just have a fat evening, we make a chocolate fondue and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons for hours on end.

There's a high correlation between absence and fondness of heart. But it doesn't take long before the key correlation changes to "sight" relative to "mind" - as in, "out of" each in a 1:1 ratio.

Our over-programmed interaction is a reaction to this change. Part of it is, I want to give her exposure to how I live - travel, meetings, uncertainty - so that we can establish a common ground with each other. But I'm also applying the paddles, optimistically to accelerate, pessimistically to restart, the heartbeat of the relationship.

Just as prolonged absence isn't sustainable, neither is hyper-programmed interaction. For one thing, the world beckons, and both school and work start up again in just a few days and the mindless-industrial complex will impose its rhythm on us. For another, a fully programmed existence hits a limit: the next episode is twice as adventerous but half as thrilling as the last.

Restarting is not so simple, but our hearts are commited. We're becoming reacquainted and re-integrated into each others lives, and our interaction is gradually becoming a matter of mundane routine as opposed to celebratory exception.

I'm back on the road again, all too soon, but hopefully at a more sustainable pace. This time round, rather than needing to find a way back to "mundane routine" from "celebratory exception", I'm going to try to find the exceptional ground of "celebratory routine".