living in a place, leaving it, then coming back after a couple years conjures some interesting feelings in a person. its like being in an all-consuming state of nostalgia; comforted by everything unchanged you are frolicking in a happy time warp. but then you see all that has been altered. suddenly the place feels surreal and strange. its as if aliens, or giant invisible people came and rearranged your world a little bit while you where sleeping. then it hits you: life carries on as usual without your presence. a fact that uncomfortably challenges our ego-centric view of the world: "oh, you mean all this exists without me here to watch?"
this might seem obvious to some, but while exploring one of my old haunts: jackson hole, wyoming, i was finally able to put my finger on why it feels so weird to return to places we once lived.
they didn't consult with me when they decided to shut down one of the best italian restaurants west of the mississippi, nor when they closed down the health food store with the best granola and salad bar in the world. obviously they needed 503 shops that sell crap to tourists instead of 501. anyway, jackson hole, its good to be back. glad things haven't changed too much, after all, you'll always have those tetons.