Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yesterday Once More

I spent yesterday evening at a refurbished shophouse. Actually, it wasn't so much refurbished as restored. I walked in and was struck by the odd dissonance of seeing old things made new. The chairs were just as they were in the days that my grandfather had his clinic on the borders of Chinatown, the windows, the carvings, the floors, the details... they were my childhood come again.

But somehow, when you take the past and make it live again, it doesn't seem quite right. It wars with your memory and you begin to doubt your sense of history. I appreciate the excellent work done to bring it back to life though; the curators and experts were actually very clever in NOT restoring certain things so that you could see what time had done and compare it with what they had done to time.

It was not quite like that when I came to the new campus of the College of Wyverns, after having spent a large and memorable chunk of my adolescence on the Hill of Dogs. Somehow, everything had changed and was not the same. It was a new thing, with none of the old, and over the twelve years I spent in this new place, I grew more and more to realise that you could never have some things back again.

Sometimes, old things pass away and you behold the new; sometimes, old things fade away and you see the desperate attempt to keep them new. And sometimes, you get insidious forces of darkness telling everyone that the new things are the old things come again; it was like that with the Big Institute of the Southern Ocean, and it seems almost that way with the new wyvern nest.

At least, some of the hatchlings are real wyverns. And I hope they will find their wings.

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