Friday, March 5, 2010

Gone Fishin'

"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment."
~Henry David Thoreau


Stephen King's short story, "The Langoliers" has long been one of my favorites. I happen to love King's writing style regardless of what he writes, but this story nabs me on a few different levels. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's about a small group of airplane passengers who survive flying through a time rift. The rift sends them into a time that has already been, a time that's been used, a time that is stale and, for all practical purposes, dead.



There's where the story immediately appeals to me. See, I've never quite believed in the H. G. Wells' "Time Machine" theory - the idea of traveling back in time to a place where everyone and everything is alive and boogying. It just doesn't make enough sense to me. I just don't buy the credibility of stepping into a machine and shaking Henry VIII's hand. I think that time is long gone and unavailable.


That's where the Langoliers come in. They're time eaters. They're big hairy balls mostly made up of teeth. They zip through time that's been and eat it up. Literally. They chew through the used scenery until there's nothing left but oblivion, a vast empty nothing. I like that idea. What's left behind still has some source of energy (as all things do) and needs to be dealt with, right? Right. So, having a universal group of cleaners, like the Langoliers, works for me. We can't go back no matter how much we'd like to. Accordingly, we can't visit the future either. When the passengers escape the langoliers and fly through the rift again, they find themselves in a time that is alive with electricity, but still, there isn't any "there" there.


I was having a discussion with a friend the other day about creativity. I mentioned something about the pointless stuff that I waste time on, stuff that takes me away from what I really need to be doing. I referred to this form of mental detritus as Time Eaters. After I hung up, I further pondered the discussion. I realized that I have langoliers in my head. I thought, "The hell?! Langoliers have no bleedin' business being in the present!"


I'm about to be very busy. My artistic life is moving forward. I can't afford to allow the langoliers to hang in my space and use my resources. I certainly don't need their kind of distraction. So, I'm sending the toothy, hirsute little bastards away - no more munching my time, guys!


I've got stuff to do, and as Mary Poppins said, "Well begun is half done."


"Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”
~Henry David Thoreau


See ya... I'm off to plunk a line.

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