A time for everything under heaven-Part One …

symbol-of-love-01

In the delicate matter of love, there is a passage way between out intellect and our souls. The journey between the two can be as long as a lifetime of futile searching for some or as short as returning a smile from a crowded room for others.

Our Soul Mate …

I reprint a small part of Aristophanes’s Speech from Plato’s Symposium.

You would do yourself well to read the entire passage and remember when you do that in all myths and legends, as in all philosophy and modern psychology, there is the kernel of truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth … even when we stubbornly refuse to accept its meaning.

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The original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, of which the name survives but nothing else. Once it was a distinct kind, with a bodily shape and a name of its own, constituted by the union of the male and the female: but now only the word ‘androgynous’ is preserved, and that as a term of reproach.”

 “ … Zeus said: ‘Methinks I have a plan which will enfeeble their strength and so extinguish their turbulence; men shall continue to exist, but I will cut them in two and then they will be diminished in strength and increased in numbers; this will have the advantage of making them more profitable to us.

“ … After the division the two parts of man, each desiring his other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one, they began to die from hunger and self-neglect, because they did not like to do anything apart; and when one of the halves died and the other survived, the survivor sought another mate, man or woman as we call them,–being the sections of entire men or women,–and clung to that.

“ … Each of us when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the tally-half of a man, and he is always looking for his other half.”

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And from this time forward we were daunted by the improbable task of finding our “soul” mate, that perfect other half that might complete us and make us whole once more.

My standard joke for years was that my soul mate was living with another woman and 2.5 children in a split level in Long Island.

I have known people who have been completed, who have found their other half. And even when their soul mates died before them, they did not lose the connection. They knew they would meet again.

Dare we believe if we cannot find our other half this time around, there is a way to come back and try again? Can you fathom the romantic possibility of being able to go back in your time, now, before and after you die again to be with your soul mate?

I’ve recently read two books by Richard Matheson back-to-back (as many of us love to do with certain authors) and wish to explore their two enduring plots; love in the here and hereafter.

The search of two men in their life and afterlife to reunite with the person they know to be their one true love, their soul mate.

About these two books Matheson has stated, “Somewhere in Time is the story of a love which transcends time, What Dreams May Come is the story of a love which transcends death…. I feel that they represent the best writing I have done in the novel form.”

Love that transcends time …

“Bid Time Return is a 1975 science fiction novel which tells the story of a man from the 1970s who travels back in time to court a 19th-century stage actress whose photograph has captivated him.

In 1980, it was made into the movie Somewhere in Time, the title of which was used for future editions of the book … and the plot slightly changed … although written by the author himself.

The movie was wonderful, the sound track haunting and the acting superb. I myself cried the first time I saw it in 1980 and cry again each time I see it.

Somewhere in Time, is the story of Richard Collier, a thirty-six year old screen writer who is told he has incurable cancer and decides to go off and die alone and spare is family the tragedy of watching him fade away. The book is a narrative written by Collier to his brother to explain his decision to leave.

While there are marked differences between the novel and the movie, the question remains the same. To what lengths would a man go to find his one true love?

In movie, young writer Richard Collier is met on the opening night of his play by an old lady who places a pocket watch in his hands and pleads, “Come back to me.” Richard does not know this woman, who returns to her own home and soon after dies.

Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s, Elise McKenna. Becoming more and more obsessed with her, he manages, by self hypnosis, to travel back in time where he meets her. They fall in love, a matching that is not appreciated by her manager. Can their love outlast the immense problems caused by their “time” difference? And Can Richard remain in a time that is not his?

In the novel, Richard travels from 1971 to 1896 rather than from 1980 to 1912. The book setting is the Hotel del Coronado in California, rather than the Grand Hotel in Michigan. The novel is in journal form, Richard writing to his brother of his last days. Richard begins the book with the knowledge that he is dying of a brain tumor, which later raises the possibility that the whole time-traveling experience was merely a series of  hallucinations brought on by the tumor.

The scene where the old woman hands Richard a pocket watch (which he had given to her in the past) does not appear in the book. Thus, the ontological paradox generated by this event (that the watch was never built, but simply exists eternally) is absent. In the book, there are two psychics, not William Fawcett Robinson, who anticipate Richard’s appearance. In the end, Richard’s death is brought about by his tumor, not by heartbreak.

The tragedy is that in both and the movie, Richard and Elise, find each other, then lose each other and Richard goes back to his own time to die.

We want to believe that Richard and Elise do not lose each other and they will one day meet again … their love “transcends time” and they will one day meet again … somewhere in time.

Have you ever had the sensation that something in your life was missing?

How far in the known and unknown universe would

you travel to find the one soul who completes you?

fOIS In The City

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Next Week: A time for everything under heaven-Part Two. I’ll discuss Richard Matheson’s second book, What Dreams May Come, where he goes farther into our existence and explores a love that transcends death, a book that can literally change your life, vanquish your fear of death, and warns you … karma is a bitch.

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16 Comments

Filed under Ramblings

16 responses to “A time for everything under heaven-Part One …

  1. How wonderfully bizarre, Florence. The second I began to read your paragraphs about Richard Matheson’s themes, a movie I’d watched in my teens came to mind, and I thought, I’m going to have to see if I can find ‘Somewhere in Time’ on DVD.

    And add Richard Matheson to my reading list.

    Lo and behold, as I read on…

    Love the theme of love in the here and hereafter, which makes an appearance in my novel, Homecoming, altho instead of lovers, the love of family extends beyond the generations, and beyond the grave.

    Thanks for the post!

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    • Sherry, I’m happy that you connected. I had a feeling that you might. I can’t wait to read Homecoming and know it will be something that is close to my heart. I do believe as we both do, that not only is there something out there, but that we have been and come back more than once 🙂

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  2. Yes. I found my soul-mate. He will always own a piece of real estate in my heart. No matter how long we’re separated. Decades…

    Sorry. That’s all I have to say today. The rest is stored in secret place in my soul reserved for him. It’s tender, vulnerable, and yet comforting to know he’s there.

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  3. Hi, Florence! My hubby loves this movie, but I have a hard time connecting with it. Maybe I’m more of a Sleepless in Seattle girl. I do know life without Handsome would not be fun. God meant for us to be together.

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    • I know from what I’ve read before, that Handsome is the one for you, the only one for you … and that is special. You might like this movie or the book. Wait until next week and then see if you get interested in Richard Matheson’s writing 🙂

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  4. Really cool post, Florence. I think I saw this movie a looooong time ago but now I want to watch it again. Sometimes I think that I’m “missing something” but I only think along those lines after watching movies like you’ve described. So, my wishing for something like the two people (above) I chalk up to my being “overly romantic”. I don’t relate to the “soul mate” thing and that doesn’t mean I’m “unhappily married”. I just don’t feel that way.

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    • The movie and the music were haunting, Patti. They stayed with me for a very long time. I think we can find happiness and the right person for us without the need to think they are a soul mate. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  5. I do believe in the soul mate theory though I also believe not everyone has one mainly because they don’t open themselves enough to see its possibilities. I also believe in some cases, one might actually be long-lived enough to have 2 but the second embodies elements of the first lost through whatever reason. I’m not sure I go with all the metaphysical elements of Somewhere in Time.

    However, I did see the movie when it first hit theaters. I found it haunting and powerful. I have not seen it since because I had those reactions, but I think of it often and wonder…

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    • Thanks, Casey. The best fun of doing these posts is the difference in perception from all my readers. You might like one of Matheson’s books more than the movie … but I do strongly recommend you get Somewhere from Netflicks and enjoy 🙂

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  6. christicorbett

    A fascinating post!

    I saw What Dreams May Come in the theater and bawled my eyes out during, and after, and for days afterward. I’ve never forgotten it and am typing this with tears just thinking about it again. I also loved the movie “Always”.

    Here’s the link to What Dreams May Come if you’d like to see it…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120889/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    Christi Corbett

    Like

    • Ah Christi, that is so delightful. Dry your eyes and find the book. It’s different but just as sad and will also make you cry.
      Oh, I loved Always and watched it at least four times. That was also Audrey Hepburn’s last movie before she died. Next week is about What Dreams May Come. Stay tuned 🙂

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  7. I’m lucky that I never had to feel like I was missing someone . . . I met my hubs when I was 14 on the first day of H.S. and from the moment I saw him, before I even spoke to him, I KNEW I was going to marry him someday. Married at 18 and 15 yrs later, we’re still married 🙂 If I lost him and thought I could get him back, then I wouldn’t stop until I found him again . . . much like my characters in 18 Things! Hubby is the reason I can’t stop writing love stories ❤

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  8. Florence – Beautiful post and now I have a book and a movie to go back and enjoy all over again. It’s amazing how much I manage to lodge away in my brain that must be exposed again. I 100% believe there’s one true soul mate for every other person on earth and that portion of an individual will be vacant until that space is filled. Some fill the space with service and I understand that completely. However, from my own experience, I know my heart was filled once again the night I met Tom.

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    • I knew you would mention Tom as your one special love, Sheri. I understand that perfectly and how very fortunate for you both.

      By all means revisit both books and movies. While different and similar at the same time, both books and screen plays were written by Matheson himself. Thanks 🙂

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