It is an odd feeling to be in between. Last week concluded my tenure as a technician at the University of Guelph. For nearly 20 years I advocated and provided the best life possible for the animals in my care. It defined a significant part of my life and will forever provide a unique perspective that will perpetually guide my decisions. But now, that role has concluded. Ahead is a new path with a journey that has an end that is loosely evident. Yet steps on that path have not begun. I am in between, having left the familiar but not yet departed towards the new – ungrounded.

Don’t get me wrong, I am busy preparing for the 4000 km move but not as busy as before. I am unemployed after all! There is time to bike ride with my daughter, grab goodbye drinks with friends, enjoy the cottage for a few days, exercise, etc. All activities I have enjoyed in the past but now feel slightly out of place, ungrounded in relation to the future afoot.

I am reading The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli, where he deconstructs the concept of time. Time is not linear, no past or future, but a change between two events with no particular order. I think?!? Let me pick my mind up from the floor! I find it fitting to be perusing this book now while ungrounded between my past and future. The poetic digressions by Rovelli were particularly thought provoking for me. My hopeless romanticism encourages you to read these thoughts:

“Because he is no longer here-here and now. This is time for us. Memories and nostalgia. The pain of absence. But it isn’t absence that causes sorrow. It is affection and love. Without affection, without love, such absences would cause us no pain. For this reason, even the pain caused by absence is, in the end, something good and even beautiful, because it feeds on that which gives meaning to life.

… As human beings, we live by emotions and thoughts. We exchange them when we are in the same place at the same time, talking to each other, looking into each other’s eyes, brushing against each other’s skin. We are nourished by this network of encounters and exchanges. But, in reality, we do not need to be in the same place and time to have such exchanges. Thoughts and emotions that create bonds of attachment between us have no difficulty crossing seas and decades, sometimes even centuries, tied to thin sheets of paper or dancing between the microchips of a computer. We are part of a network that goes far beyond the few days of our lives and the few square metres that we tread. ” p121-123

Published by

Michael Brunt

PhD | Science curious | Single dad | Animal lover | Motorcycle enthusiast | Traveller

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