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No Day But Today

As a writer, I’m not particularly kinetic. I once described a day as “two naps and lunch.”

But I was wrong.

Today is not two naps and lunch. Today is the birth of Christ. Today is the Battle of the Somme.

At the moment the sun peeks over the horizon, all the todays start, and all the yesterdays start, too. There is only one day.

A day is not merely one day. Each day contains every day. Our experience of time is partial and sequential. But time itself perdures.

So … everything is written in the stars? We have no free will?

We have free will. Everything is written, yes. But the stars are myriad. If you don’t like what’s in your stars, choose different ones. You are the author of your story.

The nature of time and free will was displayed to us in the famous double-slit experiment. But we didn’t know what we were seeing.

When a photon enters the future, it enters many futures at once. Many futures exist. But we see only one.

We must choose our future wisely.

How do we choose? Not just with our actions. Action is material and is, oddly, the least of it. What “action” did we take in the double-slit experiment?

We choose with the power of observation. With our imagination. Our expectations. Our memories. Our longings. And our love.

Our words—they are so powerful. And yet we throw them around so lightly. If only we knew. If only we could see that we are speaking the world into being.

I am guilty of it myself. But I’m trying to do better.

You know when you’re watching old movies, and even the mundane looks magical? When I watch old movies, I practically hold my breath. “There’s my old house,” I say. “Look—my first dog, she’s still alive! And that tree, and the sweatshirt my sister gave me, and that lamp that used to give off such pretty light. I remember those things. I remember them all so well.”

I’ve been trying to see today with the same eyes I watch old movies with. Look—my second dog, she’s still here! And my mother—she’s here and she’s eating lunch. Ha! My mother is alive and she’s chewing a hamburger! And this stove, this old stove with the greasy pan, I remember this old stove, and that picture of my nephew peeking out beside the clock, my nephew back when he was just a baby, he almost looks like an alien with that perfect tiny face. After this, we’ll go to the store, and then we’ll watch some television. The moon will be really bright tonight, more like the sun than the moon, and my sister will send me a picture of it on her iPhone. It will be just an ordinary day.

But it won’t. Today will live forever. Today is a slice of eternity.