Saturday, March 15, 2014

About About Time

Just watched "About Time" with Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. Highly recommended!
The film's messages are really quite mixed. But it's worth pointing out: all of the biggest problems that Tim solves with his time travel powers were, one way or another, created *by* his time travel powers. The movie winds up with an overall moral of, "time travel is unnecessary, just live and appreciate each day exactly the way it is" (not a spoiler, by the way, it says this on the box).
Now, that is a slightly rosy outlook for me. Those words come easily to someone whose life is going swell. But try telling them to someone who is suffering tremendous loss, or pain, or loneliness, and the words will sound hollow. Now, speaking as someone whose life *is* going swell, I should point out that my present blessings rest on a foundation of past horrors. If I hadn't lost past friends, jobs, dreams, and security; if I hadn't had the years 2005-2009; if I hadn't graduated from the college of sadness, then I wouldn't have met Laura.
Would I be here, nurturing a new family, surrounded by love and meaning, if I had Tim's time-travel power? If I could white-out my terrible mistakes? Not likely. Now, all of my depressing stories have a new worth. They're sacred. Every event is sacred.
Not everyone's story will have a happy ending. We can't judge the value of each event based only on whether, by some butterfly effect, they terminated in a worldly joy. But that's where the Christian story comes in. As per Julian of Norwich, "All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well." Christian hope is the basis on which every event, the wonderful and the terrible, becomes sacred.

No comments: