The boy on the left and the boy on the right don’t know each other. Neither one can comprehend the other’s existence. They’re both five years old in these pictures, these recorded snapshots of light and shadow, and neither of them can understand the concept of birth or death. In these captured moments in time these two exist only in the present; no comprehension of the past or future.
If time travel to the past were possible, one could show the boy on the left the picture of the other and he might assume he’s a classmate. He’d be completely and totally unaware that he was viewing a human he’d one day create. If one were to show the boy on the right the picture of the other, he’d probably assume the same. A classmate, a counterpart; unaware that such a boy could one day grow into the man who’d create him.
After five trips around this little sun in this tiny pocket of the vast universe these two boys are both crossing paths, so to speak; both achieving the same milestone of their young lives. Thirty-one additional years have passed for the boy on the left; years that have left him a little wiser and grayer and have, for the most part, been rewarding and worthwhile. Years worth living. Thirty-one years that have come and gone like hours in a day; incomprehensibly fleeting in their nature.
Snap a photo of the boy on the left today and these two won’t cross this same point in their paths until 2041. The boy on the left, if he’s fortunate, will be sixty-seven. Snap another photo on that day and when the two cross the same point in their paths again the boy on the left will be long in the grave; a distant memory to the old man who will soon be joining him. The temporary nature of these short-lived points in time can be depressing but can also incredibly compelling; forcing us to appreciate and enjoy them while we can. Self-awareness is both a blessing and a curse.
So welcome to Kindergarten Orson; one of many points in your path I hope to be able to cross with you.
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