Time was such a recurrent theme today.
In the morning, whilst walking the doggies, I listened to the first half of an interview with Christopher Nolan about his latest flick Interstellar…he was saying that in the absence of having a flesh-and-blood villain (a point I disagree with, actually, and I *wish* he hadn’t included a certain section with a very clear flesh-and-blood villain), he would really say that Time was the villain in the movie.
Time has to be the one thing that I think he handled very interestingly in that movie. There was some really fun stuff with relativity, even if ultimately the consequences of some choices that were made seemed to be a little lackluster.
Then, time was rather short for me on work today, although I still managed to log in some extra work when it was all said and done, thanks to some fortuitous lessons making themselves available.
Then, as I was walking the pups again for their nighttime walk, I listened to This American Life and they were talking about time travel. The Pew research center did a questionnaire on time travel, and they found that older people were far FAR less likely to say that time travel was something they’d ever be interested in.
What I found very interesting about the topic of time travel was that virtually everyone looked at it as a tool (whether they wanted to use it or not) to change the past. Try to right things gone wrong. I find that a very interesting assumption, because MY first thought about time travel actually went immediately to the sorts of events that would be fascinating just to witness. Not necessarily participate in.
That said…I certainly have thought of time travel in that way, and thought about moments in time in my personal life that I could travel across space and time to change. Tragedy in anyone’s life is likely to make you desire such things.
But, back to the old people: they went and talked to several of them. About why they had no interest in it. And their answer wasn’t so much that they were at peace with everything in their lives, or had shed feelings of regret. Rather, looking at their lives as a whole, there was very much the feeling of inevitability. That, even if you did manage to change an event or two, even major ones, that life would still have essentially ended up the same. Putting off some pain here and there would just delay or sidetrack what was inevitable anyway. We are going to feel that pain whenever and wherever it comes. Meddling in the past can’t change that.
The show ended on a phrase that literally almost made me burst into tears as I was walking in the twilight, almost complete darkness, on Valley Vista Rd. having come down from the mountain loop that we do:
That we are in fact time traveling right now, we always have been in fact, traveling into the future, at 60 seconds per hour. And, that the only way to change the past is to determine our own future.
That is so fucking true. My future will soon become the past…the only thing that REALLY exists is the present. Everything happens in the present. The entire universe, in fact, really only exists right now…and I don’t mean in some sort of metaphysical or even quantum sense. It’s entirely possible, even plausible in fact, that time can be perceived in other ways, like just another dimension of the universe…but I’m not trying to write a paper on metaphysics…I’m talking about the human condition in which we ALL LIVE…and in that, all we have is right now. LITERALLY nothing else exists. Even when we remember the past, we’re still accessing those memories in the here and now.
Traveling, together, in the present and rushing into the future. At 60 seconds per hour.