A short and winding thought

Off on holiday tomorrow. Last-minute preparations keeps this short, a single, if meandering, thought. I have mentioned packing (mostly loading onto my e-reader, for purposes of space economy) many books to feed my gluttonous vacation-time reading habits. One of these will be Jeanette Winterson’s latest novel Frankissstein: A Love Story.

I read Winterson’s 1989 novel Sexing the Cherry years ago, an extraordinary weaving of pilgrimage, magical realism, fairy tale, and fictionalised history at a time of huge social and political upheaval (in mid-17th century England). It contains a quote from the philosophical character Jordan: “Every journey conceals another journey within its lines: the path not taken and the forgotten angle.” Or, for every choice that we make in life, there is the journey, the road, we did not take.

It reminds me of the theories in Physics that suggest every choice we make hatches an alternative universe. As Rowan Hooper puts it in his New Science article ‘Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves?’:

 “…every decision I take in this world creates new universes: one for each and every choice I could possibly make. There’s a boundless collection of parallel worlds, full of innumerable near-copies of me (and you). The multiverse: an endless succession of what-ifs.”

It could bend your mind, just thinking about it.

Let go, we’re so often advised, don’t dwell on what might have been. But if we do settle there a while, in What-might-have-been Land, in one of these ‘Multiverses’, what stories might we find?

Hooper, R. ‘Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves?’ in New Science, 24 September 2014, retrieved 30 July 2019.
Photo Foggy Landscape, Liam Gant.

17 thoughts on “A short and winding thought

  1. Enjoy your time away.
    I used to pack multiple books in the past. But after bringing them back mostly untouched EVERY. SINGLE. TIME, I have learned to just take one. My vacation is usually pretty active, so there is not much time to read. And it often involves airports, which means I can always pick one up there.
    Last time I went away, I did download the kindle app onto my phone. Used it, but did not enjoy it one bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Kindle is also useless for outdoors reading. Whilst I do both paper and reader, I agree – in all sorts of ways (apart from space saving), paper wins.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have a wonderful time – and that quote on the ​journey was so deep and beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. And yes, Winterson writes such rich prose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True that. Sorry for the late response. I am on vacation hence the delay. Will get back to your posts and regular blogging soon.


  3. An endless succession of what-ifs, a nostalgia of unlived lives – often the hardest ones to deal with in existence.


    1. Indeed – probably best left in the main, but a potential creative source to tap into.


  4. Ah vacation! Have fun!
    And on the multiverse theory, I just read a great fiction with it as the main topic. It’s called dark matter by Blake Crouch. Give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. And thanks for the book recommendation; I just looked it up and it’s fascinating. A rich seam for fiction.


  5. Happy reading! Enjoy your vacation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope you have a safe holiday! This multiverse topic is waaay too deep for such a short post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It is a bit brief for covering infinity!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes… What-might-have-been-land has been with me for two years and change. Can’t seem to find a way around it. Grief does that to you I guess. Thanks for the thinking though. Cheers Libre. A bientôt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I am so sorry. yes, grief does that; it leaves one stranded with time out of joint, on the wrong plant – wrong because the right person isn’t there, even whilst everything else in that parallel universe may be the same. You learn to live in that new place, I think, usually, eventually, but it’s never the same again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. Sorry to spring that on you. I am no stranger to death. Even tragic death. (Aren’t they all?) But we lost one of sons-in-law 2 years ago. I then realized he’d become like a son to me. And of course our daughter is devastated. Though she is very strong and resilient, it is taking her time to crawl out of the “parallel universe”. It is a sorrow more than death. And until she is better, I won’t be. 🙂 We’re all working on it of course but it is a “long and winding” road. 😉
        Thank you for your words.


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