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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Meditating on Facebook

As soon as we came to the USA twelve years ago, my husband plunged into the Internet world never to resurface again. He found solace in the unending sources of information and exorcised his nostalgia finding new friends online.
On the contrary, I was always very suspicious of these mysterious gadgets called computers and of the entire concept of virtual reality. I insisted on consulting my Encyclopedia Britannica and on writing letters to be sent my mail for quite a few years. But I could type, so I didn't have to face too many difficulties when I decided to write a book about my conversion. Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen, I started to explore its possibilities. That hellish machine seemed to have a mind of its own, but little by little I was able to come to terms with it. I'm still computer-impaired, as you can see from the look of this blog, but at least I've learned how to send emails and post my writings.

Recently I've joined Facebook, and that opened a surprisingly surreal world for me. Ghosts of my past emerged from the laptop, carrying with them floods of lost memories. I found on Facebook people I hadn't even thought about for years, and all of a sudden I had a chance to take a glimpse into their lives. I found people I used to care for, or they found me, and we both marveled at how much older we looked in our recent picture. Children had become adults and adults had become elderly in the silent flowing of time. Some had moved, some had stayed put, but everyone had changed one way or another. I was able to reestablish some good relationships that were lost because of the distance, and I was content when somebody answered a "Friend Request": Even if it didn't have a follow up, it was still a sign of human connection. I felt that the memories we shared still have a place in our lives; time has not erased them.

Strangely enough, it sort of make sense to think that past, present and future all exist at the same time, in agreement with the discoveries of modern physics. It's even more surreal to think that the moments we create together are lived in a different way by each one of us. A woman sent me a Friend Request today. I knew her when she was a little girl and I was living with her father, with whom I broke up after a four years engagement. How do I look in her memory? She obviously must have an image of myself that I've lost, which means that I exist in a dimension that is foreign to me; I'm perceived in a way that I can't figure out.
But this is also true as far as the present is concerned. How does my husband see me right now? Is his image of me built on our life together, on our good and bad moments? And who am I in the eyes of my son? Does a part of him still see me with the eyes of a little boy looking for his mother?

Perhaps only God can see my true essence, which will blossom in His Holy Presence, making me whole.