All Time Is Now
Elementary Time Management for the Junior Philosopher
Every moment in time is indistinguishable from this one, just as every grain of sand is, to all intents and purposes, identical to its neighbour.
Observe, if you will, what happens as we stand here together on Galway Beach.
1977 is now. Three miles away, a man who will be named Gary Bleer is born.
1980 is now. Gary Bleer’s parents convince him to take to the water. He screams.
These screams can be heard in 1992 when he comes here on his own, determined to teach himself to swim.
Now it is 1995 and Gary brings his second girlfriend, Graine, here. The water is cold, and she’s not sure.
2005 and the wedding photos are taken here. It is just as cold now as it was a moment ago, and her shivers remind him of then as he caresses her back through ivory silk.
2008 and they bring a new child here. It screams as they dip its feet in water. Are these the same screams we’ve already heard twice now?
2077, and that child’s child struggles to push Gary Bleer’s wheelchair through the sand.
‘This is tough, Granda,’ he says.
And Gary Bleer wonders if some of the grains of sand that make this short journey so difficult are the same grains that his mother brushed off his back ninety seven years ago, or that he brushed from his own feet eighty five years ago, or that ruined Graine’s wedding dress seventy two years ago. And he realises that they are. If he wants them to be.
How can you be sure that this sand is any different to that sand? How can you presume to know if Gary Bleer is even real? Or if what you see in front of you, as you read these words, exists anywhere but in your own mind?
And who are you?
End of lesson.