Thinking about doing this trip around the sun over and over again reminds me of a startling philosophical insight I had when I was 8 or 10: Every day is a new year. Even more mind blowing, every second is a new year. Sure, we choose to celebrate the "new year" on January 1st, but you must understand that is completely arbitrary. A new year just happened right now. It was a year ago just now. I remember trying to explain this to my mother while we waited in the Seafirst Bank drive-thru line in Burien. It wasn't really resonating with her, which frustrated me because I was enamoured with the idea and wanted to share the love.
Other stray observations from the ages of roughly 7 to 11:
- I was deathly afraid of someday having to go to war. I remember reflecting on this when I was roaming around our expansive backyard.
- I often wondered if I were the only real person in the world and everyone else was robots or actors. It's weird, I've heard a lot of people say similar things, but I don't think anyone put the idea into my head. Why should this be a common sentiment or preoccupation? Did we all discover Solipsism by accident, or is it simply a mechanism inside human nature? Either way I'm left Not Rich even though I came up with the idea for The Truman Show quite on my own.
- I swear to God for one moment, while walking down our street to a friend's house, I grasped how time travel could possibly work. I was thinking about Einstein's thought, about riding on a light beam and looking in a mirror and wondering what he would see--and then it hit me. But now I can't remember how it worked. Note: This thought may have occurred to me post the age of 11, but I think it still merits inclusion.
- My mind used to boggle at the fact that I couldn't PROVE my toys didn't get up and dance or play whenever I left my room. I thought about putting a hidden camera in there but knew it would be no good because I wouldn't be able to prove that they simply knew of the camera and therefore maintained their ruse of inanimacy. Improbable? Of course. Impossible? Well you just can't say now, can you? This is how I stumbled upon, quite apart from any textbook, the Hawthorne Effect.