Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Backwards

Editor's note: After you read this and comment (hint hint) don't forget to scroll down and look at the post just previous to this one.


I like to know answers. I like to know endings. I like to figure out how a movie will end, how a book will sum it all up, how a problem will be resolved, the punch-line of a joke even.

Why do I like all of these? Because I like to have some sense of control over the unknown.

Ha ha, don’t we all?

Surprises are great, wonderful, and exciting, but often we want to know what is around the next turn, over the next hill, or even just around the corner.

So this got me thinking. Yes, I know I have a very “different” thought process. Some people might even call it “unique” and I am ok with that. It makes for good blog fodder.

I was thinking about what it would be like to live our lives backwards. To begin at the end and work toward the beginning.

Just think, your life would begin with all the memories of all that has happened to you. YIn one instant, you would know everything you ever would learn. You would have all the experiences you would ever have stored up in your mind. You would have a completed life with your mate, your children, and your family. You would know of all the successes and failures after they occurred and will have all those lessons learned actually learned. You would know how everything ends, how all is resolved, how the story finishes.

That sounds so appealing to me.

And then I did some more thinking.

But if we lived our lives backwards then we would have to experience time retreat from us. We would begin to forget things. We would no longer have our memories, they would be erased from us. Life would become smaller not larger. Our families, our loved ones, our friends would be stripped away from us and we would know of them no more. We wouldn’t learn anything, in fact we would unlearn everything. Wisdom would depart from us, always out of our reach and with no promises to ever return. Love would be torn away and the life we had built with those we love would crumble and just disappear. We would regress from knowing everything we could ever know to knowing nothing at all.

And we would end up at the beginning of our life, which is now the end of it, ignorant, small, and without all those things that we had treasured and found so pleasing to grasp all at once.

So as much as I like to know how the story ends, what is up ahead, the answer to my questions of why and what. I don’t want to miss out on the joy of learning, the joy of living, the joy of experiencing.

Life is meant to be lived forward; to be grown; to progress; to stumble, fall, and get back up and continue on. We are to become who we are by what we experience, to gain memories that we will treasure, to feel the deepest lows of pain and the soaring heights of joy to make us who we are to be at the end of our lives. We are to experience for the sake of experience. Not knowing what is ahead helps us continue to climb over the next hill, to take the next turn, to not stop and just stay where we are because there is always something ahead of us to explore, to see, to know.

How sad would life be if we lived it backwards? How horrible to forget all that we are and to become who we once were?

So I don’t know all the answers, I don’t know the ending. And as much as I want those things, I want the experience more. I want the lessons learned; the love shared; the highs, the lows; the road that makes me the me I will one day be.

Just a thought I had.

11 Comments:

Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

A thought you had, and a post where you expressed it clearly and perfectly.

I desperately want to know the end of a book or movie. I like to read the reviews on Focus on the Family's site Plugged In, because sometimes they give the Spoilers.

Sometimes I wish that I could live life in Fast Forward mode. But what you said makes sense, we'd miss out on so much.

Good thoughts, K-T.

9/28/2005 12:27 PM  
Blogger steve said...

this post doesnt speak to me at all... I have no issues at all with wanting to knwo what God has planned for me... nope... not me... nada... zilch... zip zero.. the big goose egg....


ahogilla! (mexican pork taco?)

9/28/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow. Katie, brilliant. Truly brilliant. I wish I could say I came up with it, actually. lol Can I quote you someday in my book? lol!

9/28/2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger Cav said...

Nice post - I especially like the last paragraph.

If you didn't have all these experiences we wouldn't be the men and women we are today. There is so much more to come - and think how much more greatness you will have KT.

We are the clay and he is the potter.

9/28/2005 1:13 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Often times I want to know the end result of my life...you know, where I'll end up and such. The only problem with that is...what if it isn't the kind of ending we wanted or hoped for. Would we be satisfied, would we continue living for the Lord? I mean, for example, what if someone wanted to get married really badly and have children. What if they knew that the Lord had other plans for them (maybe staying single and being a missionary in some remote far away country) but they weren't what they want in life. Would they keep doing what God wants knowing they aren't getting what they want...or would they try to change the results or something. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I try to rely on the fact that God does have a plan for me with results for something. I don't know what those plans or results are, but I try to keep pressing on...

As for movies, books, etc. I don't like having the ending spoiled.

9/28/2005 1:21 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

OK, maybe I'm the weird one here but I don't want to know. I like the saying "Happiness is a journey, not a destination."

If I knew what was going to happen, say I'd get married in 3 years - I'd forget to live my life in the meantime just waiting for that moment and I'd miss out on all the things that were supposed to happen in between. And then I wouldn't be the person I was supposed to be at that moment in time.

Life's a dance, you learn as you...

9/28/2005 2:16 PM  
Blogger Lia said...

Philip K. Dick already wrote the book. It's called Counter Clock World, and it's not such a pleasant sensation.

I, too, often prefer to know the ending - and I hate surprise parties! - but time running backwards is tough, since you're losing what's happened.

Still, it would be nice if there were some guarantees that xyz will happen at a specific time. It would make things a lot easier. But that's not really what life is about, is it?

9/28/2005 2:27 PM  
Blogger jes said...

kt, that's more than a thought. it's an epiphany. we should go on a road show together.

also, i burnt my tongue last saturday, and i still have the little bumps to prove it. they're annoying, and also hurt a little.

i'm wondering if i can get them cut off, or burned off, like moles.

9/28/2005 4:26 PM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

I loved this post. You rock.

9/28/2005 6:02 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

"Wisdom would depart from us, always out of our reach and with no promises to ever return. Love would be torn away and the life we had built with those we love would crumble and just disappear. We would regress from knowing everything we could ever know to knowing nothing at all."

Funny how as I was reading this... it sounded a little like getting old. Either way, you live it backwards or forwards... the life we built with those we love will crumble and disappear. Because, of course, we are just passing thru.

Love this post Katie. I like how your mind works. + 50 smart points.

9/29/2005 10:02 AM  
Blogger Gabe said...

A favorite writer of mine named Alan Moore wrote a similar story called "The Reversible Man". It doesn't predate Dick, but he says he drew his inspiration from childhood memories of reversed films. He was surprised that it got such an emotional reception, and had this to say on it, "Perhaps it's just that the events of our lives become dulled by repetition and it takes an unusual view of them for us to see life and its emotional implications anew."

9/30/2005 1:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home