If you could step into a brand new career—no questions asked—what would it be?
The witness protection thing is a kinda cute analogy, and it doesn’t quite work for me.
For me observing nature shows life to be a titanic struggle for existence in most cases.
In places where climate gets harsh over winter, many organisms have developed strategies involving dormancy to get through the worst of the winter, which gives a spring as they reawaken as conditions improve. In tropics and low attitudes there is no spring, growth just continues as conditions allow. A friend in Myanmar has lost a D8 bulldozer that he left parked in a paddock for 2 months (everything grew that fast that the dozer was out of sight in the greenery).
Here in NZ we have a slower growing season over winter, but we have no native deciduous trees. All the native trees hold onto their leaves over winter, and growth rates certainly increase over summer.
I love watching timelapse movies of plants growing, and watching the battles for space and light between them, that all seems so peaceful on our timescale, but not at all peaceful on their timescale.
I find it hard to imagine creating a new existence, and leaving behind all the networks of contacts I have made over the last half century. Those networks are such a huge part of who I am. Breaking all of thse networks would almost be like death.
There would be no way to remove them from my memories, and stay being me, and to have no contact with any of them ever again would be extremely difficult.
Such a thing would be huge.
I actually wonder if it would be possible.
Last year when I made a trip to San Fran I was getting on the bus to Suasilito (? spelling) and someone said “Gidday Ted Howard”, and it was John Farquahar from Thames NZ – someone I hadn’t seen 20 years. Going through LAX 18 years ago Ailsa and I met 6 different groups of people we knew.
So it seems like it would be extremely difficult for someone like me to disappear.