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Friday, August 1, 2008

Truth in Fiction

I love to read.  Lately, I've made time for some great fiction.  I have a friend who never reads it. (You know who you are.)  But I like it for so many reasons.  First, just to get lost in a story.  Movies are good for that, too, but that's only an hour and a half.  AND, books are better for your brain than movies, in my opinion.  Second, I love fiction because it drops me in worlds that I may never visit in this life.  And third, but not last of the many more reasons I love fiction, it can paint pictures of life lessons that I might not even think about otherwise.  

I read The Time Traveler's Wife solely on the recommendation of a smart and funny friend of mine.  It's not something I'd choose just reading the jacket.  For a full review, go here.  In short, it's a love story about a man who travels through time, not of his own free will, about 30 or so years back and usually only as far as 10 years in the future. (I'm not so great with math, but I think it goes from early 1960s to about 2006.)  

Besides it being a clever story, I found it interesting to think about time travel.  Not in a science fiction, dysfunctional chromosome kind of way.  I just realized as I read that some of us do that now. Yes, time travel, I mean.  And even, it seems, as a result of our own free will.  In the book, Henry, travels back in time over and over to a tragedy in his childhood. (He goes to other times, too, but that's a common repeat.) However, he can't change anything.  Can't prevent anything.  But he goes back and goes back and goes back.  Things that happened so fast the first time, he did have opportunity to dissect by revisiting the next few times.  But after that, what good does it do to go back again and again?  

Do you have a memory like that?  One that takes you back to a tragedy that you can't change? One that you can learn from by dissecting, but beyond that, you can't "undo."  I have lots of times.  Some are tragedies and some are just dumb mistakes I made that I wish I hadn't.  I know God has us remember for good learn, to grow, to strengthen and, for mercy sakes, to keep from doing it again!  But it's a conscious effort to remember, without re-living and re-condemning.  Go back there if you must, but only to keep from making the same mistakes again.

This Henry, could also travel to the future.  The interesting thing is that, of course, without the entire context, it was just as confusing.  (It's hard to explain this thought without spoiling things in the book.) A "part" of one question was answered by catching a peek, but then there were another hundred questions that came with that one glimpse. And then the big question: how many decisions, once he got "back to his present" did he make trying to make that glimpse a reality?  (Anyone remember that Tom Cruise movie Minority Report, where he finally gets to see what those creepy water things saw but how he got there he could NEVER have put together on his own.)  

I know I also spend time wondering things I'll never know until I get there.  Will I have more kids?  Boys? Girls? Will Brian and I still be married after 63 years?  To each other?  Will Grandaddy live to be 115 like that woman in France?  Will I invest my next 20 years into my children only to have them be vagrants, jailbirds or worse?  Will we EVER get invited to play cards anywhere again?

If I really could glimpse into my future, would I?  And then, should I?

As it stands, all we can do is picture the future we want and take steps today to get to that place.  So much unknown, so much we can't control, so much bigger the plans God has than we can ask or imagine.  Why limit that with my own little mind?

The Bible says not to worry about tomorrow, so I guess that answers that.  While I won't "worry", I do hope there is more fiction in my future!

What are you reading?  I'm always open to suggestions.



  1. I'll have to check this book out. I am too darn big to do anything else but sit around on my rear, so reading and blogging are gonna be my life for the next two months. :) Thanks for coming to my baby shower the other night and treating me to the movie! The next chic flick that comes out is my treat!
    Go check out my latest post and give me your thoughts on a baby name.
    Love ya!

  2. Since you asked, the most recent novel I've read was "Cost" by Roxana Robinson. It's pretty bleak: the story of how the drug addiction of a young man affects him and his family. But there's nothing sensational about it.
    And it's deeply insightful as to what each person is going though. (I could hardly breathe during some of the most intense passages.) This book has given me a better understanding of what my sister has gone through with the loss of her son ... but I could never suggest "Cost" to Lou. Far too painful and real, I'm sure.
    Keep writing, Kristi. You're doing just great!