Friday, 26 April 2019

The Ending That We Wish For

Last week I spoke about the relativity of time as well as how 'unimportant' time actually is if we were to sit down and think about it. (Article available here:

However time could be said to condition some things and amongst these is the chance or not of catching a London Underground train. Yes, for those classic film fans out there who have already guessed it, I finally watched Sliding Doors, a film with a plot that hinges the whole of a woman's life on whether she grabs the train or else is a split second too late to do so.

The film is commercial, expertly executed to be easily followed and provides an exquisitely alternate ending to the one the viewer expects. It is this ending, however, that changed my idea of what this article would turn out to be about.

Originally I intended to discuss the film's focus on the alternate realities that arise from making a choice or accepting a circumstance, an idea which I'll be getting back to on another day. For now, though, I intend to focus on a little detail that stuck out in this film and won't let me leave it well alone.

NB - There might be spoilers ahead.

I am talking about the 'changed' reaction of the character Helen to a simple question that James poses in both her realities. In the meeting with James on the train, she has no real answer to his reference about Monty Python. On the other hand, in meeting James much later on in her story in the missed-train scenario, not only do they go through a déjà vu but she also instinctively knows the answer to his Monty Python question.

It would be a little detail and 'just' a way to wrap up the film, were it not for the niggling thought in my head that despite the changes in circumstances, the character Helen is always one and the same and if she were to know the answer to James' question, she would have known it both times. Not only that, but she herself seems surprised at knowing how to reply.

This suggests to me a connection that she feels with this 'stranger', defying the reality of having only just met. To someone who believes in the power of our souls as well as reincarnation, this hints that the two might have met before, in a different life, or maybe even in her head whilst she was still in a coma after the accident.

The film provides two stories to follow that take completely different turns and yet still centre around Helen, James and Gerry in both cases. Even as the alternate scenarios diverge drastically, it is ironic that sometimes life will put us back in exactly the same spot whatever we have chosen and done before, as the accident, one of few constants in both parallels, suggests. However even after that, the stories go off on another tangent to each other, providing not only two equally thought-provoking endings but also the realisation that a story will always have an endless number of endings inbuilt into that one 'reality'. For we are all our different selves, and we will all perceive that which we most wish.

Friday, 19 April 2019

The Unimportance of Time

Albert Einstein proved a theory by which time becomes relative, despite the fact that we assume and look at time as passing at a constant speed.

Most people would be sceptical at the thought that maybe time is, after all, not exactly consistent and invariable. Yet we all feel the relativity of time in a way. Despite there being nothing scientific or even remotely connected to Einstein's theory in the phrase 'Time flies when you're having fun', it is nonetheless an observation that makes a lot of sense.

However I would go even further and say that it is we who have turned time into an all-consuming all-important factor in our daily lives and it could very well be unimportant were we not so set on letting it condition us in this society we built.

It is the famous nine-to-five job, the school regime, the business hours and structured social activities that work according to 'time' and not our true inner selves. Thankfully I can see the younger generations have come to appreciate doing things on their own terms; napping when they feel they should, partying if they feel the positivity it brings their life outways the 'nuisance' of then sleeping in the day time afterwards.

Time is, technically, related to how long this world we live in takes to make a complete turn on its own axis (what we call DAY) and how long it takes to make a complete revolution around the sun (what we call YEAR), therefore offering us night and day as well as the four seasons as a result.

This in itself however, would never explain the obsession we seem to have with running against the clock.

In my article I Never Rush Any More I admitted how I have started to embrace doing things on my own terms rather than with a 'have-to' attitude that demands I catch up with 'everything', whatever 'everything' really means. In my later article On Holiday Every Day I turned to discussing how, in choosing to live the life that will make us happy, we free ourselves from the 'need' for a holiday due to being eternally happy with our current situation. You may note that I never said we would not be working to earn a living in some way, but I did suggest that working in a profession we love would allow us time to do other things if only for the simple reason that it would not tire us out as much. And why would that be the case? Simple really. A job you hate will drag you down, as will one you find eternally boring. But by simply choosing a path that will bring happiness in itself, it really feels as though time flies and we find ourselves back with our loved ones and in our homes or wherever else it is we deflate, sooner than we thought, every single day. What's more? The term 'deflated' that I just used is actually out of place in this context. Because when we live days that won't bog down our energy, there is so much of it left after the day's end and we might find ourselves enjoying life even more. Time spent on chores and work become mere minutes in our mind, whilst technically freeing up valuable time (because in society we do after all have to follow a set 24-hour day) to enjoy whatever else we would love to fit in, instead of 'needing' to rest before going to bed and repeating the circle all over again.

Time is indeed relative. It is, in fact, as relative as we want it to be.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

No Mobile Phone!

After work one day last week, I was meant to go visit my son. Only, I forgot the book we were reading together at my home. I decided I could go home to pick it up and still make it on time getting to my son. On arriving home some flatmates stopped me to talk about something and in my rush I picked up the book and ironically left my bag behind instead.

When I noticed I was already on my way. Debating whether I could turn back to get my precious mobile (from which I had not parted for more than a couple hours at a time in the last two years) and still make it on time, I realised I could only know whether that was possible if I could tell the time. My phone is also my watch.

I figured I rather be definitely on time than have my phone with me, never really remembering that my handbag actually contained much more than just my phone. Also, I thought maybe this would be a cool experiment to try; living without my phone for a couple of hours.

So there I was, making my way in the rush hour traffic. Was I gonna be on time? Who knew?! I couldn’t check!

On the way my mind whirled round thinking about random yet deep things as it is apt to do and suddenly I came up with five numbers that meant something that I decided would win me the Super 5 lottery of that evening. I’d get a ticket from a nearby lotto booth after picking up my son, I thought. WAIT! I didn’t have my purse on me, that too was left in the bag at home.

Ok, I could text my mum to buy a ticket for me as I had no way of doing it myself before the evening’s draw. Having arrived and found a parking spot, I thought to myself I’d text mum the numbers I wanted on my ticket. Wait. NO PHONE TO TEXT FROM!

Resigned to the idea I was not going to get my ticket for that night’s draw, I walked to our usual meeting spot, not really sure was I early, on time, or late. I asked a passerby for the time and it turned out I was twenty minutes early.

I paced up and down and even walked down the road and back, willing the time to pass without actually knowing how much had passed. I even calmly went through all my daily affirmations; positive phrases I made up that I tell myself daily since I practice LoA (Law of Attraction) religiously.

Surely, my ex husband would know to get our son to the usual spot when he saw it was time and I hadn’t messaged ‘I am here.’ But what if instead he tried to phone? No one would answer the call. What if, something had happened and there was a change of plan and he’d texted me to suggest an alternate time, place, maybe cancelled altogether? Thoughts whirled through my head, punishing me for leaving my mobile phone behind.

When a car finally pulled up and my son got out, I explained my predicament and how I would be unable to tell the time and therefore get my son back on time. Thankfully my son had his iPod Touch with him so that I could tell what time it was and his dad promised to be back at the allotted time so I wouldn’t need to text a ‘We are back.’

I figured I couldn’t possibly need my phone now that my son was here but trust myself to look for it once again when I felt like taking a photo.

Time flew and we eventually walked back to the meeting point where I hugged my son goodbye and started the long way back to my car. I remembered that I’d been waiting for a message on my phone. I also remembered I hadn’t texted another friend who I’d meant to for a specific reason.

Oh well, I’d do that when I got home. Which I did, around two hours after first leaving my phone behind. A hundred and twenty minutes out of a whole day, out of a week, month, year, more than two years since I’d finally switched to a proper smart phone.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Don't Defile A Natural Place

Anyone who is doing more than just going through the motions on this planet of 'ours' has their sacred space or spaces, where they feel they can deflate, relax, breathe. For those who lean towards a more 'earthly' life, these could be anywhere from a preferred coffee shop to a comfy sofa at home, a bedroom 'retreat' or the library, among other places.

For those of us who live more on the spiritual side of life, our sacred spaces are usually found in natural surroundings. This is not to say we live hidden away in some alternate universe, so our sacred places are actually places that many others visit, if for different reasons. Two weeks ago, a school event of my son led me within inches of one of my most sacred places, in a natural place that exudes peace.

So you may imagine how upset I was when, visiting my realm of pure peace, I came across litter strewn around.

This place is to me sacred for a particularly vivid and powerful memory of a visit there. Despite that it is now guarded by security so that I felt unable to walk to the exact spot where I would have felt most the love and peace, it was still magical to inhale the scent of my wet surroundings as the rain fell all around me, the rain that both me and the person I share the memory with so love. Magical, peaceful, an altar to love, and yet defiled by human intervention in the form of plastic bottles and papers strewn around in a place I had thought not frequented at all. What I don't get is, why go into nature at all if you are disrespectful of it? I mean, this is no school canteen, no candy shop, no games room either. It barely makes sense to me that anyone would visit the place unless they had some peace and quiet in mind. And just as no one pees where they eat (even a rabbit I had was intelligent enough to pee on the opposite side of the cage to where his food was), why would anyone turn their place of rest into a litter garden?