Monday, September 25, 2023

Past future theories of the past (and future)


And now I'm glad I didn't knowThe way it all would endThe way it all would goOur lives are better left to chanceI could have missed the painBut I'd have had to miss the dance

--Tony Arata (Performed by Garth Brooks)

I have blogged a great deal over time (ironically) about time. Some of it has been quite profound and some of it has been quite simplistic. And obviously I have come to no conclusions because I still haven't figured it out. 

Now granted I am not a Physicist.  I suck at math so that has never been one of my possibilities. I do have lots of hunches. Some of them are triggered by memories. I sometimes have the strong sense that my past is going on right now in all of the layers of my experience.  And I also have this sense that I will someday either relive or repeat my past.

In some cases this would be okay. But the wild card is whether I will do so with full knowledge it is happening. Because my now Tim would give an earful to my then Tim. And many of the pronouncements would begin with, "You don't really want to do that."

If the then Tim actually listened to the now Tim is the question. And I wonder if I would want to change things if it meant that experience would totally go away. Because in some cases I enjoyed the beginning of an experience but not so much the eventual outcome of that experience.  As Garth sang, you could miss the pain, but you'd also miss the dance.

Though in some cases the dance isn't worth it.

Maybe it is because I'm quite a bit closer to the end of my life than the beginning. I stop wondering what's next (except for the ultimate inevitable) and dwell a bit more on what was and why. And, while when I was younger I dwelt a great deal on the past, now I more or less try not to think about it. But if I do, I accept it is over. At least that part of it that pokes its way into my now is gone. 

But still, there is this nagging feeling that somewhere, somehow, it is still going on. Granted it is part of me in the sense that part of the way I am now is based on the way I was. And I used to let the past drag me down in feelings of regret and what ifs. Most of the what ifs are gone now, though. At my age, starting over doesn't seem to be a viable option. And there isn't much in my past I'd want to reconnect with if I can't change it. 

Even if you could change it, does that mean you'd have to hang around living the new path until you see how it turned out? I can't say I really want to do that, especially if the ultimate result is that I still get old and frankly not very attractive.

Which is the superficial part of the way I look at many things in my past. I follow my high school graduation class on Facebook. Frankly, as far as I can see, no one aged well. I don't recognize hardly anyone who posts on there. I didn't know most of them in high school anyway so connecting or reconnecting with them doesn't hold a great appeal for me. 

Which is also my biggest problem with my past. All of  the people who came into and left my life apparently did so for a reason. I don't have the energy to catch up on 20, 30 or 40 years of what I or they have been up to even if they have lived the most fascinating lives in the world. 

There just isn't enough time. 

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