Saturday, June 10, 2006

I've spent most of the day devouring a novel recommended to me by none other than Danielle J. For the past two or three years I've 'mostly' avoided fiction in favour of non-fiction and have been served well by digesting books such as Ishmael, 2030 and, most recently, Freakonomics. That being said, sometimes you just crave a really good read - maybe even a really nice love story. And so I find myself engrossed in The Time Traveller's Wide, which is in many ways similar to other novels I've indulged in, but in other ways like no piece of fiction I've read before. It is, first and foremost, a love story, but, as the title suggests, a love story with a pretty big twist. So the story is narrated by Henry, a bonafide time traveller, and his wife, Clare. The book does not follow a particular chronology - or maybe it does, but I can't really explain it. It's funny though - the time traveller can travel back in time, but he can't change the future or maybe it's vice versa. Maybe he is creating his future when he travels into the past and meets certain people and does certain things..or doesn't.

Well, in any case, this has, of course, lead me to do a most dangerous thing: think. And I am thinking a lot about what role fate plays in our lives. Is there such a thing as destiny. Do certain things happen for a reason? Or is everything random and we simply decide after the fact that things happened as they did for a reason becuase this explanation makes us feel all warm and fuzzy about the twists and turns we encounter in life?

For instance, if one were to lose one's job they would likely be quite upset at first. But then maybe this person would happen upon a much better job and be much happier and decide that fate had thrown this curveball into her life precisely so she could get this better job. Or is it more likely that she simply did what anyone does when they lose a job - went job-hunting and merely found a job that would have been there even if she'd quit her old job in order to find a better one?

So I don't believe everything in life is fate or happens for a particular reason. Let's face it, life is pretty damn random and most things that happen are so benign that we are likely to ignore the signficance of most things that happen to us or don't happen to us, unless we are on the watch for such a thing. But then there are other things- like crossing paths with certain people whom you will never forget or having your plans radically screwed up on account of something you could not have predicted or foreseen.

Which, of course, leads me to contemplate my recent experience with being denied entry into the UK. A part of me wants to believe it happened for a reason, but what would that reason be? Is it that I wasn't supposed to be in Scotland this summer, or that I am supposed to be on PEI this summer? Perhaps it is simply that I should be heading directly to Australia as I had originally planned to do before I lost my job in February and all my plans went off kilter?

If there's a reason I am supposed to be on PEI, what am I to do about it? Am I to just sit around and wait for this 'reason' to make itself known, or should I be actively seeking this 'reason'. And if I actively seek it, or even if I don't, won't I simply be creating my own destiny - finding a reason to justify something that happened in the past?

So I am at a loss. Do I believe in fate? Do I believe certain things happen for a reason? One thing I do believe is that we have to try our darndest to make the things happen that we want. For instance, if we love someone and want to be with them, we have to do everything within our power to make that happen. That, by the way, is simply an example - I am (for once) not insinuating anything about my own personal life. For me, the thing I am trying my darndest to do at the moment is get myself to Australia. Fate, if youu are out there and listening, please please let me get to Australia soon.

No comments: