Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I like to go back and read my previous posts.  It usually starts with, "I wonder what seemed important to me one year ago" and continues as I glance through my own cryptic post titles.  It's fun to remember the stories I've told about the kids and see pictures that for at least a day seemed monumental.  And it's fun to happen across my many unfinished projects.

Like this one.  It's been a year since I posted a quote from George Orwell's 1984.  For fun, I opened up the four-page document of quotes I'd saved to see which ones still affected me.  Some still seemed interesting while others seemed to lack the life-context which must have framed them a year ago.  But having moved ahead to my own future, I enjoyed pondering these three sentences again:

"How could you communicate with the future?  It was of its nature impossible.  Either the future would resemble the present in which case it would not listen to him, or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless."

There's an episode of New Girl where Nick (random sidenote: the guy in this show is named Nick Miller.  10 points to anyone who gets why that weirds me out a bit) watches a video telling him not to get back together with his ex-girlfriend Caroline.


Predictably, Nick doesn't listen.  Present Nick and Future Nick both wanted the same thing: to be with Caroline.  So Future Nick ignores the warnings of Present Nick.  In a different scenario in which Future Nick no longer wanted to be with Caroline, the predicament described by Present Nick is meaningless.

I wonder if when we try to communicate with our children, in their present states, it is a bit like trying to communicate with the future.  We tell them of our mistakes in the hopes that they can avoid pain, but either they are just like us and refuse to listen, or they are not like us and the point is moot.

And then there are the time capsules so many of us put together in Young Women's.  I occasionally look through mine, but the earrings from my first boyfriend and to-do lists including marrying Dave Dunn just don't seem all that relevant to Future Me.

I can see wanting to get some information through to a Past Me.  There's a country song that talks about writing a letter and sending it back in time to one's teenage self, and that makes a certain amount of sense to me.  Having lived through Past Andrea, I could probably communicate pretty effectively with her.  But there's the whole space-time continuum thing, and I don't think I'd make any tweaks if there was even the slightest chance of messing up any of the wonderful blessings Present Me has.

So do I think it is possible to communicate with the future?  I think the best we can do is to write a record of how it all worked for us.  If the future wants to look for patterns in the ups and downs, maybe it can deduce something of worth.  That's kind of what we do with the Book of Mormon, right?  We've analyzed the pride cycle and have tried not to repeat it in our own lives.

But how many of us have really been successful at that?  I can see plenty of examples in my own life where I've been blessed, gotten big-headed, been humbled, worked hard and been grateful, been blessed, and still gotten big-headed again.

Is it possible to communicate with the future?  Yes.  Is it possible to convince it to change paths?  I don't think so.


Brigham said...

Wasn't Nick Miller your long-time high school BF?