June 1, 2009

Day 4 Asking For Help- Time Machine

“If you could go back in time, is there something you would change?” Is the question sent to me by Miss Fi. It will be put inside 12 days journal #49, which I will take it to her when we have coffee, this week...right Fi?

Fi’s answer was:

“I think I would try to explain the devastating impact that vehicles have had on the air quality and challenge people to build better cars. This seems good. hmm. I'd probably approach a somewhat influential and feminist minded gentleman with ideas and factual information to get the ball rolling in the right direction.”

Such a lofty aspiration! I admit when I read it I was thinking personal gain, and admittedly my initial thoughts were motivated by vanity. ’Hmmmm...if I could take back every dime I ever spent on sugary junk, my immune system would be in better shape, as would my thighs, and think of the huge pile of cash I would have!’ Here Fi uses her genie in a bottle for the well being of the planet while I use mine as a self deprecating money making venture. You're making me look bad lady!

Honestly though I am one of those “I would never change a single thing” folk. I was told once by a man who had no legs that this was a crock! I didn’t disagree with him. At the time I didn’t know how to have this debate with a man who lacked the ability to dance in the way I do. Or to walk  the way I do. Who has likely never skied or hiked, at least not in the way I have. Telling him that “everything happens for a reason” seemed ...well to say “trite” would be a gross understatement. It didn’t seem like the time to take a stand...quite the choice of words. I can not say beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I were to lose my legs, I would eventually come out the other end with my ideas around never changing the past, intact. I fully appreciate that there are things that could happen that might change my stance (isn’t it interesting how many leg metaphors are popping up?!) . But this life, with this past, is all I have to go on. To change any of it might alter who I am in this moment. I have faith in the me who sits here click click clicking on these keys. That in the grand scheme this is exactly where I am meant to be. That if I want to change things, THIS is the moment to do so, not in some imaginary time machine . I completely understand where my leg-less friend is coming from , and I am not saying he is wrong. I am also not saying miss Fi is wrong in wanting our air to be clean, our resources intact. Not at all, I would like to live in that world! I think it is ok to have both kinds of people in the world, the “wouldn’t change a thing-ers" and the “what I would do with my three wishes” types. We balance each other...no?

Oh and before I go I want to make a public apology to my thighs. I love you thighs! You are strong and sexy and I promise I will never wish you away!


  1. I would go back in time and change tons of stuff. First I would get all the winning lotto 6-49 numbers, then find Hitler as a baby... Okay I'm full of it. I, too, subscribe to the "I'm here exactly where I need to be" camp. I have lived through some shit that was rather unpleasant but I did live through it. And it made me stronger. I also realize that I have an amazing life and a lot going for me and that without my struggles and travails I would not be who I am. I also do not trust that I have the cosmic vision and knowledge to alter the passage of humanity. This really gets into a philosophical argument: I mean perhaps if we have the ability to travel through time we are meant to alter events...simply because we have the capability. But we don't (as far as I know) and so I look at this in terms of myself and my life. I do not know why certain events, ie. imperialism in the Americas, the holocaust and so on and so on, had to happen. But apparently they did. So I would keep things as they are, for better or for worse.

    Wait, I would like to make out with that teacher who was coming on to me on my grade 12 ski trip. And maybe just a couple of million from the 6-49 folks.

  2. My first thoughts are on the selfish side. If I could go back I would not have any of the surgery I had. Tonsils, adenoids, appendix, circumcism, the lot. I would give myself the strength and ability to say "No, no way, F*ck off". Then I would go back and not miss the opportunities I missed, going on adventures, trying new things learning stuff. Not that I didn't do those things, but there were definitely opportunities I missed. I would also stand up to anyone who told me to be different to how I am. As far as the world goes That's harder to contemplate. I would save John Lennon from being shot, give Nelson Mandela a get out of jail card, give the cia a different mandate, etc.

    But truthfully, I'm an "everything is perfect the way it is" enlightened kinda guy and the only thing I would go back and do is organise my life so I could be a rock star and have all the cash, chicks and drugs I could handle. That would be fun.

  3. The standard answer I always give to that one is that I would not have married an abuser. But then other people always say that if I hadn't hooked up with him, I wouldn't have had 3 wonderful children, either. Who's to say that I wouldn't have found a healthier partner and had my kids with them instead, though?

    I don't know. In spite of it all, I think that I wouldn't be who I am right now if I hadn't had that experience. I've ceased to say that I wasted 10 years of my life on him and ceased to mourn that loss of important time in my life.

    As much as we like to fantasize about this kind of question, the fact still remains that we can't change the past. Guilt and regret are counterproductive emotions that hold us to the past and keep us from moving forward and fully experiencing the now. What is done, is done, and is no more.