The things that make you disappear into experience are random things. Or, to place it in Sartreâ€™s terms, since I really should be writing about Sartre and not the other things swirling in my mind, some things hit so hard and fast they drop us from the reflective into the non-reflective, me-in-the-world. Like the red stained wood and Elliot Bay ferry images of Seattleâ€™s Best Coffee.
Itâ€™s funny; Greyâ€™s Anatomy doesnâ€™t really make me homesick. It makes me laugh, because the closest theyâ€™ve been to Seattle is some alternative world Seattle where you go north on 99 from Queen Anne to get to Downtown. There are occasionally things I recognize, like flyers for the 5 Spot, but itâ€™s so obviously a fictional place I feel no greater affinity for it than I do any other place Iâ€™ve never been.
But for just a moment, the pure, non-reflective experience of this Seattleâ€™s Best had me both wondering where I was and experiencing Seattle, and missing Seattle. I miss the sharp smell of the saltwater air, the breezes racing up streets, playing hide and seek with you as you run through the Downtown grid, the misty dripping of the weather, the campus, the people. I miss going to wine bars with friends, meeting up for coffee or movies, the occasional night dancing, sitting in my cramped living room with the cats, doing shots to Stargate, birthday partiesâ€¦ I miss the life I had.
Isnâ€™t it weird, when we slip into experiential being, and forget where we are? I had that a lot last weekend in Denver â€“ I was around everyone I see here in Albany, and inside, so it was hard to remember that I was actually in Denver and not simply at a long affair at home. Stepping up to the Seattleâ€™s Best counter, looking at the ferry/Public Market picture, I had that same sort of experiential dissonance, where for a moment, I knew I was in Seattle, and if I turned around and walked outside, it would be damp, grey, cold, and familiar. The moment I moved to reflective self, to saying â€œI am thinking Iâ€™m in Seattleâ€, I was of course able to say â€œno, idiot, Iâ€™m standing in Albany thinking Iâ€™m thinking Iâ€™m in Seattleâ€ (which I suppose leaps from the first to second reflective state), but there is still a sharp jarring between the non-reflective and reflective. I feel Iâ€™m in one place, while I know Iâ€™m in another.
I wonder if any of the phenomenologists have an answer for that?