Monday, 9 February 2009

Hourglass

I watched the trailer for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today and it reminded me very much of the love story in The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (which, incidentally, is also being made into a film). I think both stories resonate because they describe love that is under threat from the unchangeable effects of time. Any relationship we have cannot last forever - time slips through our fingers - but these stories bring this poignant factor to the surface.

Also, I suppose, love against the odds is always appealing. Even though I don't believe in uncontrollable love (I guess we can't help who we fall in love with sometimes but we can choose how we act on it - I don't think love can be an excuse for certain behaviours) the idea of that kind of electric connection with a person that recurs through time strikes a chord.

The stories are different from real or traditional love however in that they show time affecting one person more than the other - Benjamin ages backwards, and Henry in The Time Traveler's Wife suffers from unexpected transportation into other parts of his lifeline. This makes the familiar idea of time slipping away into the more painful feeling of a loved one being pulled from our grasp - the women in these stories are the ones left behind in time, or the ones that cannot help but age while their partners do not. I suppose I love these stories because they are unusual and because their romantic element is enterwined with sadness.

I find the idea of aging fascinating too - my parents sometimes say they feel young inside and I understand this, yet I sometimes feel so old, like I've been around for a long time. Perhaps like Benjamin Button I will have to become younger and meet someone in the middle, or perhaps I cannot fight how I think and must be trapped in my own timeline.

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