Attributed to Einstein in “Xmas Gift,” a poem by Allen Ginsberg
One of the hot concepts in theoretical physics is the idea of the “multiverse.” In this realm – where physics meets philosophy and perhaps religion – time as we know it does not exist. Instead, anything that can happen, does happen. In this paradigm, time is an infinite number of intersections between all that is possible, and all that we experience from our own limited perspective. In turn, our experiences are contained within the timeline where our consciousness currently resides. In this theory, every action – every chance happening or willful choice – creates its own universe. Instead of one universe, there’s an infinite number of them. They multiply like bubbles in dense foam. A new universe pops into creation every time a rock falls, a bird takes flight, somebody turns right instead of left, a star explodes, or one galaxy collides with another.
As a fictional device, many “Star Trek” plot-lines depend on this theory, as well as movies such as “Sliding Doors,” “The One,” and even “Meet The Robinsons.” Any story that involves rips in the space-time continuum, parallel universes, and time-travel owes a nod to the concept of the multiverse.
Recently, I needed to renew some life insurance. I submitted to a routine physical, and they reviewed my medical records. It was all rather mundane until I was denied, and – further – I was told that I was “uninsurable.” This is a big step down from the “preferred” status that I have had previously, and a big problem. It seems that as a result of my accident in August, my records showed that I had endured a decompressive craniectomy. Apparently, sometimes after a massive brain injury they remove part of the skull in order to give the brain room to swell, and – perhaps – to heal. It’s like having an amputation of half your skull. Given that I was released from the hospital the same day as my accident, I was pretty sure that I had not experienced this particular procedure. And – in spite of what some might think – I would probably notice if I were missing the top half of my head.
At least, somebody might’ve said something by now. It’s hard to overlook, I would think.
Here’s the weird part: With my particular accident, the odds were much greater for an outcome like the one that my records showed than for what actually happened. The initial impact from the first vehicle was more than double that which is considered “fatal or life altering.” The impact from the second vehicle that I hit was right at that benchmark, also. Against the odds, I walked away relatively unscathed.
My records showed otherwise. Inexplicably, there was a full paragraph – with explicit details that seemed to involve me and my head – that outlined an alternate outcome. There are a few explanations as to how this paragraph was put into my records. The most likely of these is that some other patient’s records were accidentally linked to mine. Or, I could be writing this now from deep within my own coma, and I’m just imagining this reality, now. Or, the fabric of time ripped enough to give me a glimpse at what might have been, and – possibly – IS in another timeline. If the multiverse does exist, it seems certain that my life did not continue elsewhere as it has, here. Without getting too metaphysical – or dramatic – I just want to say at the end of 2007 that I’m thankful just to be here.
I’m also thankful for my family, my wife Vera, my two daughters, and my young son. I’m thankful in particular for my brother Scott and his partner David, and for my father as well. Vera’s family is a treasure, too, and I’m grateful that they have accepted me as one of their own. I’m thankful for my many friends and colleagues, and for the team here at Pemba Serves – Scott, Pete, Janice, Steve, and Paul. I’m thankful that we continue to serve our vendors and our dealers, and that we enjoy support from many quarters of the outdoor industry.
I would like to say thanks to everybody for making 2007 what it was, and thanks in advance for a great year, ahead. We’re looking forward to 2008, and we hope that you are as well.