We finally reached the portal. Many stood in our way, plotting to capture us for their own nefarious purposes. But we struck them down and made our way to the portal. Truth be told, I hesitated for a moment - I had many fond memories of this strange dimension. But I did not belong in this world. So I stepped through, and I tumbled through a dark void... All of a sudden I found myself at home, on my bed. I immediately leapt out and searched for my family and friends. They really do exist! They're alive and they remember me! Oh, this is a joyous day.
So that was an incredibly anti-climactic ending. Honours ended a couple of weeks ago, but it was such an abrupt shift from a heavy and consistent workload to... nothing. It feels exactly like I've retired from my (as of yet non-existent) job. That was a crazy nine months of work.
One would be tempted to immediately jump for joy, catch up on all the shows one has missed and play games for hours on end. I recognised this temptation immediately and took steps to avoid it, which is why I haven't been posting all this time, even though I'm technically "free". During the first weekend of "freedom", the only thing I wanted to do was mark exams even though they hadn't arrived yet. I had to do something that vaguely approximated the work I was doing this year.
So now that exam marking is over, I'm doing admin work and research assistant work to earn a decent wage and keep myself somewhat busy during this season. That said, I did go on a lovely weekend trip with my friends to Katoomba, Leura and the Jenolan Caves.
The bus ride to the Caves was so long, on top of an already lengthy train ride to Katoomba, but it was totally worth it. As I stood in the caves, I felt the enormity of the passage of time that has led to the way the mineral formations currently look, and the endless aeons that will come after I am gone. I thought about how, if water was still flowing into these caves, the time between my birth and my death would have contributed almost nothing to the development of these wondrous structures.
But water no longer flows around those parts, and instead humans have built structures and created a dominion over the corresponding surface for an infinitesimal amount of time. I am but a single torchbearer in the grand procession that bears "spirit" (as described by Allen Wheelis) from one being to another. Oh my god all of the feels. I am describing this feeling through rational and coherent explanations; sadly, through these words you would still not be able to feel what I felt. The emotions evade description by our limited human languages.
I'm not sure my companions felt anything similar, but for me it was an incredible experience. I am glad I was not just staring at the (admittedly beautiful) curtains and pillars and going "ooh", though I did plenty of that anyway. Upon recounting this experience to my friend, he said that it was not unlike a deeply spiritual experience, which makes a lot of sense. I felt a giant wave of wonder and reverence and perspective fill me throughout the experience.
The next day we headed down to Leura to look at the shops and buy things. I've learned that shopping is lots of fun when you do it on your own terms, whether it is online or offline! I found an excellent study desk which I would gladly purchase to furnish my future home.
Isn't it a marvellous desk? It would be a great start to furnishing my ideal home! But alas, it will have to wait...
Instead, I purchased a jar of lemon, lime and ginger marmalade and a jar of honey, with a honeycomb inside! I wish it was easier to purchase these sorts of goods, because they were very delicious. That was a very satisfying trip, though our time in Leura was limited, and I do plan on returning many times in the future.
- Rogiraffe -