Hubby and I watched Another Earth last night. Excellent movie. I highly recommend it. Without giving too much away, let me just say 1) Brit Marling (who both stars in and co-wrote the film) has these amazing, soulful eyes. You just want to give her a hug through most of the movie. And 2) part of the fascination with visiting this other Earth is to determine to what extent the inhabitants of that planet followed the same trajectories we did.
In physics, there are all kinds of questions and theories about the existence of parallel universes. Somehow, that’s the only explanation that keeps general relativity and quantum physics from cancelling each other out. Personally, I love the idea that for every decision, every possible outcome, there is a whole universe created, so that everything that could happen does happen somewhere in the multiverse. It is an infinite and ever-expanding landscape of possibilities.
It’s the only context in which I allow myself to delve into the what-ifs of past boyfriends, men I may have met only casually, relationships that didn’t quite work out. How many me’s exist with each of them on another plane of existence? How many of those me’s have children? I once had a dream that I was convinced was a visit to another realm, one in which I had a baby with a former love. He (thankfully) was nowhere to be seen in my dream, but the baby was so real. I woke up happy, knowing that another version of myself had achieved what I have (so far) struggled to attain. I was not jealous of her.
The beautiful thing about believing in an infinite number of para-universes is that there is no need for regret. Somewhere in the vastness of the cosmos, there is a version of me who has everything she’s ever wanted: a loving husband, children, a home. I hope she has those things with Hubby and not another man. I hope they both realize that they narrowly averted the possibility of being in our shoes. We turned right; they turned left. Our paths diverged, and a whole world of opportunity was lost or gained.
I love, love, love this thought.
It’s kind of comforting, no?