Friday, September 25, 2009

A note from the future

My dear friend Adelaine wrote a post on her blog that nourished my parched imagination and set in motion a mental exercise in nostalgia.

Here's the big idea: If I could go back in time (and space) to slip myself a note from the future, what would I tell myself?

What does someone like me has to say to "himself minus 10 or 20 years", having lived a wonderful life many out there can't even remotely hope to have? What rues or regrets could I possibly have in my life that warrant a rewrite of my story at large?

If I ever get a chance to thwart time and space (I'm pretty sure I've just offended Einstein mid-sentence), I don't think I ever want to give the minutest detail of the future away to me in the past. Contrary to what I first thought it would do, doing so would not give me an upper hand in life—whatever I thought was important enough to justify a second attempt (which, as a good Sci-Fi flick would have it, was to happen at the exact anchor point in spacetime when and where "it" first presented itself).

Part of a well lived life consist of learning life's tough lessons the hard way. To slip myself a note from the future is like telling a school kid all the answers to the finals before he even learned any of it in class. To say the least it wouldn't have made any sense to him. And then there's the butterfly effect (no explanation of the term necessary thanks to Hollywood). What I would get after I make the round trip and pull the time machine over at the curb of Present Time will in fact be a lesser me. In both substance and quality. In the end I would have been better protected from the brutalities of life—and at the same time been made a dimwit in the truest sense of the word.

So there, one of the biggest Sci-Fi aspirations of mankind deciphered. Don't bother cracking the codes of the spacetime continuum, folks. I've figured it out and it's not worth the hassle.

Although I wouldn't mind meeting myself incognito ten or twenty years back just for the kicks. Or conduct history's first double-blinded, conscious, out-of-body experiment on oneself. Just to find out if I've really been the product of my own good opinion of myself.