In the land where time is a circle, I meet you again and again, always with a rush of recognition–– the lilting wave that beckons hello, stranger. It seems I have known you before, and each time I lose you, it is with the shocking pain of the first cut.
In the land where time is water, a tiny rivulet of this becoming will sometimes turn backstream, and any creatures, debris, soil, falling branches, or conversations will find themselves suddenly in the past. In this world, we know even after our most recent reunion, of the loss that comes next, because we learned this when we lived in the land where time was a circle.
In another world, two times exist concurrently. One is mechanical, its form a massive pendulum of iron, back and forth. The other is of the body, bodies, the body of the living planet and its teeming forms. It squirms, wiggles . . . makes its mind up as it goes along. Most reject one or the other form of time. But the worlds have a way of colliding. The collision tends to create a desperate state, because everybody knows that you can make a world in one or another time but not both. This is because each time is true, but the truths are not the same.
This morning, while waiting for the coffee to brew, I was delighted to discover Einstein’s Dreams, a slim novel by Alan Lightman, hiding in plain sight on a bookshelf. Although I do not remember buying this book, it is easy for me to imagine why I would have wanted to, upon learning that the premise is based on a series of dreams that the young scientist had before arriving at his theories of relativity. I wrote today’s post while reading the opening twenty pages of the book, using three of the worlds Lightman describes. Italicized phrases are Lightman’s.