Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Garden of Forking Paths

"The explanation is obvious: The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts'ui Pên conceived it. In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, and not you; in others, both of us. In the present one, which a favorable fate has granted me, you have arrived at my house; in another, while crossing the garden, you found me dead; in still another, I utter these same words, but I am a mistake, a ghost."

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths

To Whom It May Concern:

I will not insult your intelligence by offering career advice. I will, however, offer the following. Perhaps some of you might find it helpful.

In the midst of the Garden, which is Time, you find yourself on a path, which is your fate to follow to the next forking. You may not have chosen the path you are on, and you may not like it or the choices you think you see before you, but you cannot go back. You cannot unwrite your own history. You cannot unlive your own life.

You must go forward. And because you must, you should go forward boldly, to the next fork in the path, and see where it leads you.

As Mrs. Dealmaker is fond of saying, "Life is what happens to you while you are making plans."

Forkin' A.

© 2008 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.