Essays, Prose

Mortality in the context of time

I have always been enamoured with the concept of time. It’s such a relative, yet still seemingly objective dimension in which through all things are born and die. I can talk all day about the possibility of time travel, but right now I want to touch on something a bit closer to the human soul.

The reason for our mortality is time itself. Time is a barrier that separates instances, just as the physical plane separates objects. How frustrating it must be to sit unable to move forward, backward, and side to side. We see this all the time in people who are paralyzed. We recognize it’s unfortunate, but at least we have each other to help us move. Now, let’s transfer that feeling to the fourth dimension, also known as time. We’re not TOTALLY stuck; we’re able to move in one direction– forward. We may look back at where we’ve been, but we can never be in the same spot again. This is exceptionally painful for those who study history and/or are futurists by nature.

Our consciousness is trapped in the inbetween. We reside in a nomansland with historical honor behind us and accelerated knowledge in front of us. Of course we have values right now, but they mostly lay dormant under the mask of progress. Such slow progress that I long to rewind the clock centuries since the future seems like a whole eon away. I wish to breathe the air of history, but also taste the future. I ponder at what life would be like if only I had been born earlier or later. Alas, we all have these thoughts and the simple truth is if we weren’t born when we were, we wouldn’t be us. It’s no secret that a vast majority of us are unimpressed and quite frankly disappointed in the state of our world right now. 

Taylyn had a slightly different approach when discussing mortality. Her focus was on the fear of death and how we should be celebrating life. There is nothing I don’t agree with Taylyn on. I think we both agree that time exists to add meaning to our lives, but I say, what if we could hop around time? For me it’s not a question of immortality, but the freedom of experience. In another post I’ll discuss the implications of time travel, but for now I still feel like we should have the ability to tweak it here and there. Do you ever mess up something trivial and think, “no worries, let me just rewind a few minutes and try again”? Perhaps this is just the habit of being able to rewind videos and replay sections of video games. 

I have a sword hanging on my wall and it often makes me think of what it must’ve been like with knights walking around, kings and queens ruling over lands, and chivalry at the center of society’s heart. Yes, we can read about it and study paintings, but we’ll never truly know. I also think about what life will be like hundreds of years in the future. Will life be better or worse? What will my descendants be up to? I’m sure they’ll look back and wonder what our lives were like. Well, if they happen to find this, this message is for them: you’re not missing much other than unnecessarily political strife ripping us apart as we walk in and out of the ugliest architecture thus far. I could tell them myself if this invisible barrier of time restraint were to shatter.

For now I watch archaeologists unearth castle ruins knowing one day neon towers will glimmer in the moonlight as we explore far beyond our planet… or perhaps everything will be in ruins. For now I watch reenactments and predictions, which is the closest we’ll ever be. I am certain everyone’s hearts have felt the same way from the dawn of man and to our end. The pain of a mortal life and the inability to have a whim of time just as we can walk from place to place. For now I will sleep and let my soul decide if I shall dream of ancient empires or astronauts walking upon a distant moon. Goodnight to the sweet Earth who is witness to it all and goodnight to the human life that is ever so fleeting.

Featured Image: The Thinker (Bronze, 2018). Joseph Klibansky

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