How we live forever. Sketches for my next film, process videos, good things to take in, a classic NYC story.
“No one does it all. Choices are made. It may look like [I’ve done] it all. Appearances are deceiving even when no one is trying to deceive.”
A reader left this comment in response to the last issue, and I couldn’t agree more. I struggle with wanting to do it all; I’ve a pathological case of FOMO, not so much as in "keeping up with the Joneses” as wanting to not leave any “what ifs” on the table. Of course this is impossible unless, as Alan Lightman says in Einstein’s Dreams, we live forever, the population splitting into what he calls the “Laters” and the “Nows:”
The Laters reason that there is no hurry to begin their classes at the university, to learn a second language, to read Voltaire or Newton, to seek promotion in their jobs, to fall in love, to raise a family. For all these things, there is an infinite span of time. In endless time, all things can be accomplished. Thus all things can wait. Indeed, hasty actions breed mistakes…
The Nows note that with infinite lives, they can do all they can imagine. They will have an infinite number of careers, they will marry an infinite number of times, they will change their politics infinitely. Each person will be a lawyer, a bricklayer, a writer, an accountaint, a painter, a physician, a farmer. The Nows are constantly reading new books, studying new trades, new languages. In order to taste the infinties of life, they begin early and never go slowly.
I identify with the hustle of the Nows, but am envious of the chillness of the Laters. The hypothetical makes me think about choice, and what making them implies about my perspective on life, process, death.
Decision-making is fraught, and conviction often eludes me. This is why I think I thrived during the pandemic. There was so much freedom in what seemed like an infinite expanse of time that, tidily encapsulated within the four walls of my flat, was not constantly being questioned in terms of quality or funness or progress toward something. This might be why people talk about how temporally disorienting that period was—it gave us an inkling of what it might be like to live forever.
The rest of the issue is for Members 🙏 Sketches as I ramp up on the next film, good things I’ve been taking in. I end with a little story that’s classic New York.