Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lost and the Road Not Taken

As someone who has watched Lost avidly since it first arrived on our screens six years ago, the latest and final season has been a bit lacklustre to say the least. I still enjoy it and I would never miss an episode, but it's almost as if the unveiling of the answers fans have craved for so long has let too much air out of the balloon and now it's just a matter of just seeing it through to the end. I'm hoping I'm wrong and that the finale will be as brilliant and as shocking and unpredictable as the writers have been promising all these years.

Anyway, the most interesting thing to come out of this season is the idea of the parallel reality seen in what the programme-makers are calling 'flash-sideways'. The detonation of the bomb back in 1977 created a different timeline for our main characters, an alternate reality running side by side with the events on the island. I'm not entirely sure where all that is going within the tv show but it got me thinking about alternate realities in our own lives, what Robert Frost called 'the road not taken'. Now I may be going out on a limb here but what the heck - I'm going to chuck the concept out there. For years now, in fact, as long as I can remember, I have had 'strange feelings' about particular places. I remember driving through Salisbury when I was about eleven with my brothers and my dad and feeling this strange sense of 'I've been here, I know this place'. That's the only way I can describe it. Now I'm not talking about 'I've been here before' in the Shirley MacLaine sense. I mean, it felt as if some part of me had lived a life in that place - or should be living a life in that place. This odd feeling has recurred quite regularly in my adult life, especially when I travel to new places. My recent trip to Canada was the weirdest experience of them all, especially as I know for a fact that my parents planned to emigrate there before they had any of us kids. I have never felt more 'at home' than I did during my two weeks in that beautiful country. The sensation I'm talking about is like deja vu only times a hundred. Times a thousand. And I wonder sometimes, could it be that I'm feeling the echoes of a life lived there in some alternate version of my timeline? What if my parents had decided to move to, for example, Salisbury instead of Devon back in 1972? What if they'd emigrated to Canada back in '68? What if?

Food for thought. Or maybe I'm just as mad as a fish and need to see 'somebody'.

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