Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Frame of Reference

We are born into a unit of time, our own frame of reference and a reality that can later be explained with photographs and art pieces, ticket stubs and currency, literature and empty boxes of Rice Krispie Treats. We see the world in chunks of years, memorize the dates and eras and refer back to our graphs every time we get confused.

Yesterday while swimming laps in the pool I had this feeling. Like, wouldn't it be great to live in the era before Victorian? Just for the heck of it. Why not. Which would be like, 18 something, right? What is that period called again? "Pre"-Victorian? Where's my chart.

How strange to think of how different life could be if it were just another year. If the Redwoods were just young springs. If China didn't multiply itself by half every day. If it were a lot harder to get in a plane, or even a train, or even a boat and cross a far distance and change your reality. Would we be more content if dreams were simply possible in drams and if our lives, for example, were mapped out for us, free of choice?

I could have an arranged marriage, have babies, darn socks, and I wouldn't be waking up day after day thinking, "Paris or New York? Writing or teaching? Episcopalian or Buddhist? Adoption or birth? Black or white?" Things would simply be.

I see women of the past as caged birds trying to find a way out, a path to their dreams.

But what will the women of future time slots think of us? The females of the early millennium.

I hate to say it, but for now we are quite confused. Uncaged, set free, where now shall we roam?

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