As I begin chatting to my childhood friend LinNan on MSN, bits and pieces of the past start to form vivid pictures in my head. The more I talk to her, the more I felt being left out of her world, the world I used to be in, that big yard with those three green buildings, the people living there. I could say that everything was out of my control to begin with. But ultimately, it was me who caused myself to miss out. I miss my grandparents, but I never call them unless there’s an emergency. I miss my dad, but I rarely write emails nowadays. I miss my friends, but I see them online and never talk to them. The thing is, I feel like if I don’t live in that world anymore, there’s no way to fit in just through a phone call, an email, or a brief chat on MSN.
However, I still like to think that we’re somehow connected, closely connected, can’t live without each other connected. If any one of them were taken away from me, I’d still feel equally as sad as if someone who’s currently living in my world being taken away. There is no difference underneath it all. Is there? I couldn’t help but to wonder, do they feel the same? What does it take for a relationship that’s been long held at great distance to remain the same proximity?
I was talking to Adrian yesterday about a long distance relationship that I sort of held responsible for. I introduced the guy to the girl. During that summer, they fell for each other. But guy left Beijing to NY and thus the long distance love affair began. I think ever since the girl told me over webcam that they got engaged, I started to wait for their relationship to fall apart. I’m not saying I wish anything bad to happen to them. I really don’t. She’s one of the closest female friends I have. Yet I couldn’t help but to doubt their relationship. They spend on average 2 months physically together every year and 10months apart but with a phone call on a daily basis. But here they are, four years later they’re still going at it. Is it strong trust in each other that lasted this relationship all these years or is it enormous ignorance? Or perhaps, it’s just because of what they guy said, “they clicked”? I really don’t know.
Perhaps their relationship is like what I described about mine. Even though they don’t live with each other, they still feel somehow connected with each other. Is it fair to define that the shortest distance is the reverse of what Rabindranath Tagore defined as the furthest distance in the world in his poem? I think there’s a debate about whether Tagore wrote it or was it just by 张小涵.. either way the original is not in English so I’ll have to use my judgement to translate the Chinese version I can find into English: The farthest distance does not lie within life or death, cannot be defined in terms of physical locations, it happens when I am standing right in front of you yet you don’t know I love you. It sounds a lot more romantic in Chinese somehow: 世上最遥远的距离，不是生与死的距离，不是天各一方，而是我就站在你面前，你却不知道我爱你.. if I were to state this mathematically, it would be something like this:
Let d = farthest distance, ld = life or death, pl = physical locations, y = the you don’t know factor, then (NOT(ld) AND NOT(pl) AND y) IMP d. I used the brackets for clarity, NOT and AND will be evaluated before IMP even without them.
After a whole page of scribble, figuring out what the negate of the whole thing is by applying laws of logic, I realized that I simply can’t define NOT(d).. because NOT(d) is not the negate of the whole thing. I need to introduce something else to the equation. So I’m back to square one again.. it turns out I can’t define what the shortest distance is from what the farest distance may be.
As I stare at the coffee blankly, I feel that I should revisit my previous thought before trying to figure out what the shortest distance is. Why does it matter what the shortest distance is? Now it hit me, what I really want to know is when we have pl, is it possible to have NOT(d)? In logic terms: (NOT(d) IMP pl) EQUIV true? To look at the truth table for this, we see that despite what NOT(d) is, if pl is true, the result is true. Thus it is possible, at least by the laws of logic.