A Time for Everything-Part Two


The love of my life

Allow me, if you will, to give you something extraordinary to wrap your mind around at the end of the day …

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks:

 To be in love
Is to touch with a lighter hand.

In yourself you stretch, you are well.
You look at things
Through his eyes.
A cardinal is red.
A sky is blue.

Suddenly you know he knows too.
He is not there but
You know you are tasting together
The winter, or a light spring weather.

His hand to take your hand is overmuch.
Too much to bear.

You cannot look in his eyes
Because your pulse must not say
What must not be said.

When he
Shuts a door-
Is not there_
Your arms are water.

And you are free
With a ghastly freedom.

You are the beautiful half
Of a golden hurt.

You remember and covet his mouth
To touch, to whisper on.

Oh when to declare
Is certain Death!

Oh when to apprize
Is to mesmerize,
To see fall down, the Column of Gold,
Into the commonest ash.


How far would you go to find your one true love … your soul mate … that “beautiful half of a golden hurt?”  Would you travel half-way around the globe to a strange place on another continent? Would you abandon those who love you, risk everything you have or put your life in mortal danger? Would you follow your true love into the depths of Hell? 

A reminder from Part One: 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.”

In Richard Matheson’s  book, What Dreams May Come, Chris, the main character dies suddenly in a car accident and unable to live with the grief of losing her beloved, the wife, Anne, commits suicide.

Love that transcends death …

Chris at first cannot accept that he is dead, and when he finally does, he becomes obsessed with the notion of getting back to his wife. After her death, he learns of her fate and decides to journey through Hell to be with her.

In the book, Albert tells Chris he does not have to risk the danger of descending into the bowels of hell to follow Anne. If he is willing to wait twenty-four years, he might have the opportunity to find and join her in another life.

His love for her is so strong that after a perilous journey, he gives up his chance to live in tranquility in Heaven and stays with Anne, who must pay for taking her own life.


What Dreams May Come

The novel, What Dreams May Come, is significantly different from the film, in plot and the vision of the afterlife. The novel’s approach to the love story is less sentimental, its tone more scientific than fantastic.

There are far more references to Theosophical, New Age and paranormal beliefs. The author Richard Matheson claims in an introductory note that only the characters are fictional, and that most everything else is based on research (the book includes an extensive bibliography). Story elements that are not in the film include astral projection, telepathy, a séance, and the term “Summerland” a name for a simplified Heaven in Theosophy, and for Heaven in general in religions such as Wicca

The details of Chris’s life on Earth differ strongly in the novel. Only Chris and his wife (called Ann) die. Their children, who are grown rather than youngsters, remain alive, as minor characters. Chris and Ann are rural types rather than the urbanites portrayed in the film, and he is not a pediatrician, nor is she a painter. He’s a Hollywood screenwriter, and she has a variety of jobs.

The novel’s depiction of Hell is considerably more violent than in the film. Chris finds it difficult to move, breathe, or see, and he suffers physical torture at the hands of some inhabitants. He does not encounter ships, thunderstorms, fire, or the sea of human faces that he will walk upon in the film. Instead, he and Albert climb craggy cliffs and encounter such sights as a swarm of insects that attack people.

Ann is consigned to Hell for just 24 years, not eternity. At the end, which resembles an alternate version of the film but not the standard version, she escapes from Hell by being reincarnated, because she is not ready for Heaven.


Are Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come love stories or science fiction? Are they about time travel or past life regression or simply two sad tales of enduring love. Some do not believe in the afterlife, refute time travel, and believe that this life, this time, this world is all there is. 


If all you believe is here and now …

how much of that reality would you surrender

To be in love for the first time …

the only time …

the last time?

fOIS In The City


Filed under Ramblings

12 responses to “A Time for Everything-Part Two

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, Florence, and I guess they took a lot of creative license with how the film was portrayed. I found that the love I have for my husband changed a lot after I had kids. Raising human beings to be good people and happy individuals is a full-time job which takes a ton of my emotional energy, leaving not much for my mate. It’s still there, I believe, but only resurfaces when we get to spend quality time together, alone.


    • Patti, knowing several women who have gone through that life and come out the other side with their mate, an empty nest, and a whole new outlook on who they are and what they mean to each other. I think love waxes and wanes and the trick is to enjoy the good times and know the not so good won’t last 🙂


  2. You know you pose an interesting question about if these stories are sci-fi. I tend to think of sci-fi with outrageous uniforms. These seem to fit time travel well. I agree with Patti in that the romantic love I had when I married Handsome changed with the coming of children and a different life. My life is definitely richer for it too.


    • Yes, Vicki … the reason I phrased it that way is because Matheson was one of the best science fiction and horror writer … Stephen King credits him with the inspiration to follow his career in writing and called him the most important influence in his life.

      I believe what I told Patti and you and handsome are in for some truly wonderful times together at the other end of the child part of your marriage. Also, grandchildren are what a blast !!


  3. Oh, Florence, You know you have a special way of tugging at my heart strings. As you are well aware from following my blogs (but a subject I haven’t reached yet in the Fourth House Series) is that your children (the children may be your own, step-children or other children in your lives) will carefully watch the love two people share and thus immulate that behavior as they move into mature relationships of their own. I’ve never, ever put Tom’s needs after the needs of any other individual and our love is as strong, if not stronger that the day we met all those years ago. Equally, the same can be said about the way Tom treats me.
    Tom introduced me to the movie ‘Somewhere In Time’ and we’ve watched it curled up together – we know most of the lines by now. I never think of time travel as being impossible. At first I didn’t think I’d like time travel but I accept it now when reading and discovering new venues. We both love the movie ‘Somewhere In Time’ so much that I purchased the sound track and we often listen together and other times I’ll here it coming from Tom’s office, jewelry studio, and even the bedroom when it’s a day when he simply can’t bring himself to get out of bed.
    As to following on searching to the end of the earth for the one true love, I honestly thought there would never be anothe love for me with the exception of my husband killed in Viet Nam. I married my 2nd husband for all the wrong reasons and it lasted 10 years for all the wrong reasons. I honestly believe, true love walks in when an individual isn’t looking.
    I love this series you are doing and I love Matheson’s work and equally his interpretations.


    • Thanks so much, Sheri … yes I love everything about Matheson’s work and I love his interpretations about enduring love. About the music score from Somewhere in Time … it was written by John Barry and haunts me to this day. He also wrote the score for Out of Africa and Body Heat … wonderful works. And I agree that true love finds us when we least expect it 🙂

      Say Hi to Tom for me !!


  4. Like Patricia, I haven’t yet read these books or seen the movies.

    However, one line — one you picked up on as well — sang to me when I read it, “You are the beautiful half of a golden hurt”

    I chose reincarnation as a theme for one of my college papers and became fascinated with the documented evidence that people had lived in another era and were not on Earth for the first time.

    That’s when I came to believe that the definition of “heaven” might be the circumstances, opportunities, and plight of someone’s next life. Ditto for hell and purgatory – even though my religious upbringing had no such afterlife.

    I choose not to disbelieve. I choose to believe that I will be with my soul-mate this time ’round or another.

    The thought is comforting.


    • That’s wonderful for you both, Gloria. And that line and the poem are my heart songs. I decided to believe that there must be more than what we know here … something greater. A good friend describes death as her last and best adventure 🙂


  5. I remember finding that movie very depressing, but interesting. I didn’t know about all the differences between it and the novel, but Hollywood always changes stuff around, don’t they! I’ve often wondered that if my 18 Things has the privilege of being made into a movie, if they’ll change the ending 🙂


    • Jamie, I think Hollywood would change any book. Sadly,they don’t always do a good job. And honestly, while the book was very interesting and gives one pause for thought … it was mostly depressing 🙂


  6. I haven’t read What Dreams May Come, but that movie has haunted me for years. Seriously. There is something about it that just sticks in your subconscious and resurfaces at the most unexpected times. I’ve mentioned the movie to people before and had decided I was the only one who’d watched it. lol

    I’ll have to read the book. Or not. It sounds rather depressing. :0


    • Yes, Brinda … It is depressing. I don’t think Matheson meant it to be … he wanted it to be an affirmation of his belief in the afterlife and the power of love. I agree that once something like that movie gets into our brain, it’s hard to let it go. For me it was Somewhere in Time 🙂


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