Rather than to post my favorite pictures of “2013″, or come up with some list of things, I thought that I’d just talk about the construct of time a little bit.
A boy was walking along, found a shiny penny, picked it up, showed to his father and proudly exclaimed it to be his lucky penny. His father replied:
In a universe in which past, present, and future came into existence all at once, complete from beginning to end, with all possible outcomes of every life woven through the tapestry, there is no chance, only choice, no luck, but only consequences. A penny polished by moonlight is only a penny … the penny would not bring us luck, that even if it had been a million dollars, it would not of itself bring us luck and changes our lives, that what happened to us was of our election – and therefore allowed us more hope than luck could ever provide.
~Dean Koontz – Innocence: A Novel
As I walked along the shores of Lake Wylie this evening, thinking that this was the ‘last’ Friday of 2013, a smile came across my face, a knowing smile. Time, I realize, is a construct made up entirely by humans, a way for us to keep track, only an agreement. If that way doesn’t work for us, we change it, just like we did in 1582, when we changed from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian/Western/Christian Calendar:
The calendar was a refinement in 1582 to the Julian calendar amounting to a 0.002% correction in the length of the year. The motivation for the reform was to bring the date for the celebration of Easter to the time of the year in which the First Council of Nicaea had agreed upon in 325. Because the celebration of Easter was tied to the spring equinox, the Roman Catholic Church considered this steady drift in the date of Easter undesirable. The reform was adopted initially by the Catholic countries of Europe. Protestants and Eastern Orthodox countries continued to use the traditional Julian calendar and adopted the Gregorian reform after a time, for the sake of convenience in international trade. The last European country to adopt the reform was Greece, in 1923.
We are, it seems, fascinated by the idea of time travel. Numerous books and movies have been made about this topic and I’ll watch them, simply because it’s fun to think about. Yet, I think that I believe Dean Koontz’s point of view about everything coming into existence at once and we just walk along, making choices, taking a path here, taking a path there, all of our own choosing. This is not fate, simply ‘free will’ if you will, the selection of your own path.
For those of you who might have watched the movie, Galaxy Quest, the title of this blog post comes from that movie. The Omega-13 was a device aboard the ship that provided the ability to travel back in time exactly 13 seconds, enough to correct one mistake. You could use it only once. An interesting thought, indeed. This would allow you to reverse your path, 13 seconds, and choose a different path. I’ve been caught in the thought-loop of “what if”: It’s fascinating stuff to think about how your life might have been drastically changed based on which box you checked in a selection of classes, for example. Would you have met your current wife or husband? Would you have the kids that you have? What would your life have been like … if only …
I enjoyed the TV show Fringe, because it dealt with parallel universes, two branches of reality based on a single choice, like which class was taken. The lives of the characters looked similar, but were quite radical in some ways. It’s great fodder for teasing the brain and stretching the imagination.
Anyway, no real point in this post, other than to share a photo, a book quote that I really liked, and to think about ‘time’, such as it is.