Sunday, January 15, 2006

When the Time Train Derails

Selkie writes about the "Time Traveller's Strife". I've been feeling what I've always thought of as the "Time Warp" In happened in 1997 when I was getting a routine ultrasound, and the doctor said, "they're twins" and then her face changed. I knew what she was going to say. It happened when we followed Aidan to a hospital in a major city 250 miles from where we lived, and the doctor told us "it's minute by minute" -- his best hope and that a slim one, was a liver transplant, but before he even went there he had to double his weight (hard to do without a working liver) and recover from transfusion-induced pneumonia -- his lungs had filled with fluid.

It happened again last Sunday when we went from routinely (sort of) dropping Liam off at the railroad station, to, one hour later, me holding Aidan's hand and desperately praying Memorares in the back seat as his lips turned pale blue and a trail of saliva came from the corner of his mouth. One hour after that I was watching him lie on the ER table while the doctors debated whether to put him on the ventilator or not. But an eternity went by during those hours.

It is only a week almost to the hour since that day. That's what I mean about time warp. The track seems relatively predictable most of the time. You may see some interesting sights and go through new areas, in fact you're guaranteed to. But when one of these other things happens, it's like you suddenly find yourself on a different track altogether. It loops and veers and when you rejoin the "Normal" track you've travelled miles and miles, but you're only a couple of feet further on your temporal journey.

It's like one of those "faster than light" space stories where the twin brother comes back 50 years older than the one that stayed at home.

You know, Chesterton was right about fairy tales.

Fairy tales are more than true - not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

and so was Tolkien.

"The peculiar quality of...'joy' in successful Fantasy explained eas a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth. It is not only a 'consolation' for the sorrow of this world, but a satisfaction, and an answer to that question, 'Is it true?' The answer to this question that I gave at first was (quite rightly): 'If you have built your little world well, yes: it is true in that world.' That is enough for the artist...But in the 'eucatastrophe' we see in a brief vision that the answer may be greater--it may be a far-off gleam or echo or evangelium in the real world."

They are more real than the things everyone tells you are "real life". How shocking these time journeys would seem to me if I hadn't read about the prince turned to a frog and the hobbit carrying a ring that could destroy the world!

Fairy Tale Quotes

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