Sunday, August 26, 2007

Once Upon a Time . . .

I just finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. Rarely have I been so enchanted by fictional characters. The title gives a bit away of course, and I don't believe in offering spoilers, but please consider reading it. Henry time travels; it's in his genes, and he has next to no control over it. Clare is his wife, and she's known Henry since she was 6; she waits for Henry to arrive, waits for him while he's away. This is a story that dwells almost exclusively between two perspectives, yet it's an incredibly rich narrative. You see, Henry and Clare's story is not bound by traditional chronology. What may be past memory for Clare is still to happen in Henry's future. They are completely entertwined, almost codependent.

I know. You're wondering what about this book makes it such a good read. Sure, it might be that I was stressed out and needed some escapism to relieve that. Maybe I'm a sucker for time travel. Or it could be because it raises so many marvelous questions. Time's a pretzel...the past, present, future are occuring do you keep a secret about your past for your loved one's future? Even though it's not in the mystery genre, I found myself reading closely, combing through the lines, dates, memories for clues. I love that. By the end of the book, I was deeply invested in Henry's and Clare's fates, turning each page, and willing things to turn out my way. As if the future had not already happened.

"That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done.So there is nothing new under the sun."-Ecc. 1:8-10 (NASB)

"Unbelievable, that old Biff could have chosen that particular date. It could mean that, that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence."-Doc, Back to the Future, Part II

"It is no more crazy than a dog finding a rainbow. Dogs are colourblind, Gretchen. They don't see colour. Just like we don't see time. We can feel it, we can feel it passing, but we can't see it. It's just like a blur. It's like we're riding in a supersonic train and the world is just blowing by, but imagine if we could stop that train, eh, Gretchen? Imagine if we could stop that train, get out, look around, and see time for what it really is? A universe, a world, a thing as unimaginable as colour to a dog, and as real, as tangible as that chair you're sitting in. Now if we could see it like that, really look at it, then maybe we could see the flaws as well as the form. And that's it; it's that simple. That's all I discovered. I'm just a... a guy who saw a crack in a chair that no one else could see. I'm that dog who saw a rainbow, only none of the other dogs believed me."-Stuart, Kate and Leopold

I used to sit in front of digital clocks, waiting to see the numbers change as the minutes passed. It fascinated me to "watch" time pass.

Countless people remark how time goes slowly, yet all too quickly.

When I was in junior high, I learned that the second is a measurement of vibrations made by the cesium atom.

Last New Year's Eve, I called my family in Missouri at 10 pm Pacific to wish them a Happy New Year. We were both "here and now," but it was 2007 there and still 2006 here. I marvel at this on one level and find it mundane on another.

Things to think on when you have the time . . .