cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

I already have a list (a real list! in Evernote!) of topics to blog, and this was not even on it. But…

Bear with this unraveling string, it goes somewhere.

In my twitter stream (not the full flow, but that of folks I tend to read ore closely), I saw that Gardner Campbell tweeted a new blog post. Waitaminute! Why am I not seeing this in my Digg Reader? How did I lose his feed (it seems to me in Feedly, faint, unfit for children’s ear curses to Google for axing the synch power of its dead Reader).

jarmonI then noticed on the sidebar of his comments a comment and response to what turns out to be a 4 year old blog post.

Not just a blog post, a moving memory and tribute to almost 4 years ago the passing from this world of Leslie Jarmon, and brought back to life via an extremely touching comment from her niece. More than touching. It made me do one those doubletakes Gardner writes about.

In which the totally obvious jumps up and slaps one across the cheek.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

Time is passing. Or better written in that song of the same title by my favorite musical poet:

I’m playing my guitar while my sister bangs the jar
The glass sets up a sound like people laughing
It’s going to my brain and it’s easing all my pain
I must hear this sound again ’cause time is passing

I’m walking by the sea and the seagull sings for me
The crabs are swimming down among the starfish
The rocks, all clatter down, seagulls fly around
But the whole trip rubs it in that time is passing, passing

I had even less of a passing experience with Leslie Jarmon, totally only in some of the events we participated in back in the 2007ish era when I was doing a lot in Second Life. Go ahead and giggle at a technology as fashionable now as 8-Tracks tapes; but there was something magical in that now brief era, and have had some wonderful nostalgia the last few weeks talking to colleagues about that era.

But the doubletake that I took is a naive sense, absolutely when I started in this field 20 some years ago, and even to now, that these colleagues, peers, and leaders I do not know — you kind of feel like they will always be there. Like this now is the now tomorrow. Not that the people I read, joke at, meet may be dealing with all kinds of life issues we do not know about, or that they will someday not be there.

Like I said naive.

And not that I am morbidly wondering who will not be there tomorrow.

Heck, it might be me.

In that time span, feeling like much will go in forever, I have married and divorced, gained weight, lost hair, lost both my parents, lost a few dogs, my eye sight seems more strained, I can hardly exercise without breathing hard. Yet my stupid (or not so stupid) brain paints me in some timeless space, where it feels the same high energy mentally place as it was in 1992. Or so it fools me.

I was reminded of this last week, when I went to visit my friend and former Maricopa colleague, Eric, now a dean at one of the colleges. We sat on chairs watching campus flow by, talking much of now as well as back then. Be both nervously laughed how we felt like when we started our careers we were aware of those people in the system who had decades of experience (wisdom too one hopes). Holy s**** we are them! Scary.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

Of course what is more pathetically dull than someone whinging about getting old.

That was not the point.

All of the technology– the blogs and tweets and mashups and LMSes and MOOCs and this– really don’t matter in the long run. Eventually they end up on that same nostalgic shelf as Second Life.

Find it, I got to hear it all again
My heart has heard the sound of harmony
Blind to it as my tears fall again
It’s only by the music I’ll be free

There’s something in the whisper of the trees
Millions hear it, still they can’t believe
There are echoes of it splashing in the waves
As an empire of dead men leave their graves

Don’t listen to people talk, don’t listen to ’em selling souls
Don’t listen to me or words from men above
Don’t hear it in your needs and don’t hear it in your greeds
Just hear it in the sound of time a passing

Find it, I got to hear it all again
My heart has heard the sound of harmony
Blind to it as my tears fall again
It’s only by the music I’ll be free

What Pete writes as music can be anything you tune into as a passionate interest or it may even be a sense of spirituality for those who choose. Heck, I don’t know what exactly it means, but I hear this sometimes faintly, but always there “Find it, I got to hear it all again, my heart has heard the sound of harmony…”

And here is where I might blather on some cliche about its people and relationships that matter, and pay attention to those. I was hoping you’d get there without me doing that. It’s why, for me, I do these trips where I invite myself to visit people I know from online in their homes and towns.

It matters and makes the connections that much more real, having been in the places people make as their homes, meeting their dogs and cats and families and seeing what they surround themselves with. No more than seeing, it is being. I just had a Skype call yesterday with Mariana, and seeing in the video the very spot she sat at in her home (and a greeting from Colin the Great) makes this more than a through the screen experience.

I’ve tried to describe this sensation, and it always ends up feeling like a chaotic jumble of mushy sentiment.

And so, when thinking of photos of my own I might use searching on the word “time”, this one hits my in my gut, and now I have tears dripping in my keyboard.

Do not let time pass without listening to it.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

I miss you Mom.

Find it, I got to hear it all again
Find it, I got to hear it all again
Find it, I got to hear it all again
Find it, I got to hear it all again

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Ubi sunt, Alan, ubi sunt. “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” Earthly beauty is always temporary; death strips us of whatever we know of beauty or power. In some ways, it is the ONLY great and eternally moving theme for all of literature, including your blog post.
    I know you don’t follow Mind on Fire, and I know it is uncool to include links to one’s own work in blog comments, but I recently made a digital story ABOUT A DOG and a sister very much in this ubi sunt mood. You may (or may not) access it here:

    I don’t know any of the songs you referenced, sorry to say, but Eva Cassidy and “Fields of Gold” might be part of our shared mega-text?

    I always love the deepening of mood and soul shadows you show here as we move yet again toward the winter solstice.

    1. Thanks Sandy,

      Please check your assumptions at the door; I do run by your blog and leaving links in comments is more than fine, especially how rare it is to get a comment that is not a spam link. Sometimes I just lurk and listen. Ubi sunt indeed! You cannot go around with beautiful foliage, music, a walk in the woods, and a friendly dog.

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