Heartmaps: An exploration of time.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.

Albert Einstein said that, apparently.

Broadway and Cambie

…Actually – my friend’s ex-boyfriend said that, but I found out that Albert Einstein actually said it first. He liked to take credit for other people’s thoughts, jokes and experiences (the boyfriend). But that’s another story.

I don’t quite understand the quote. But maybe I do.

When I’m walking around this town I don’t really see things as they are.

Yes, I’m looking at my phone(which is a problem in and of itself), or daydreaming, or looking at the ground,

But then I look up, and it’s several years ago and I’m on a first date at Biercraft.

It’s Easter, it’s raining – we took the Canada line, which still looked kind of new (it’s looking a little grungy now). My date smiled a lot and listened a lot, and paid. I later found out that we went to Biercraft because out of the things he knew about me, he knew I liked drinking…I was doing my practicum at the time, and also working as close to full time as possible. There wasn’t a lot of time for fun, and when there was, I tended to overdo it.

I’m going to eat lunch with some friends. We are on Alberni street and the sun is out, walking past a school I used to work at…then it’s 2007.

I’m working in the language school. My stuff keeps getting stolen from behind the desk. The other admins and some of the teachers friendly to admins (such a divide sometimes) would go down the street to eat at a restaurant. The restaurant  rotated it’s name and cuisine every six months or so. At Christmas, Agent Provacateur opened up, and parked a bizarre van with windows on all sides, with a model wearing their lingerie, and blasting Santa Baby (or equivalent) for hours on end. She would go through poses. People would stop and look at her.

On non – van days, sometimes the Provocateur employees would come up the stairs and yell at the school Director because students were smoking in their doorway and getting cigarette smoke into their store and onto their lingerie.

I’m back.

I have a mobius strip tattooed on my arm. I choose it very quickly, because when I got the tattoo, I was essentially playing a game of chicken with my best friend. We kept talking about getting tattoos for about six months, but a week before I was due to leave the country for Australia, it was a now or never situation. I chose the mobius strip because I liked the idea that wherever you were going, you were always going home, looping back to the start.

mobius strip

It’s been more than random nostalgia and time travel through place these days. It’s also been about people.

First, it was running into an old, old friend in a bar, through a series of events that ordinarily would have never have had us ending up in the same place at the same time.

Then a party, where walking through the door I realised I actually knew half of the party. Somehow – we had all become friends of the same friends over the past decade.

…The people that were oddballs in high school are the type of people you really want to know into your twenties and thirties, p.s.

Finally, walking home from the grocery store, admiring the tattoos of the shirtless man in front of me, wondering if I’d ever be the type of person that could strike up a conversation with a stranger over their tattoos (which does come up more often than you’d think – it must be a tattooed person thing). Of course this person was actually another old friend from high school. And he lives on my street.  And the tattoos were spells to protect him from harm. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to get into their individual meaning.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering what this all means.

Obnoxiously. To the people that care about me.

My mom said – You’re the one with the mobius strip on your arm! You tell me.

So I’m trying to.

Which gets into the actual nature of time.

I might be getting this wrong.

Time moves forward. This is the arrow of time, or the second law of thermodynamics, but… time also makes as much sense if it is moving backwards. Forwards or backwards, the math will work.

Ok …

Then there is the entanglement principle. I’ll put in a picture. Because this was the only thing that helped me:

As a hot cup of coffee equilibrates with the surrounding air, coffee particles (white) and air particles (brown) interact and become entangled mixtures of brown and white states. After some time, most of the particles in the coffee are correlated with air particles; the coffee has reached thermal equilibrium. Image: Lidia del Rio

As a hot cup of coffee equilibrates with the surrounding air, coffee particles (white) and air particles (brown) interact and become entangled mixtures of brown and white states. After some time, most of the particles in the coffee are correlated with air particles; the coffee has reached thermal equilibrium. Image: Lidia del Rio

This is from a good Wired article you can find here. 

The present can be defined by the process of becoming correlated with our surroundings…

We can discuss the fact that an hour ago, our brains were in a state that was correlated with fewer things,” he said. “But our perception that time is flowing — that is a different matter altogether. Most probably, we will need a further revolution in physics that will tell us about that.

So our present as we know it, and experience it,  correlates directly with our past, and how we knew it, and experienced it.

My take away is – we live in a soup, of present and past experiences.

So what does it all mean?

Everything !

and Nothing.

(maybe)

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