Friday, September 23, 2011



MALCOLM: You see? The tyrannosaur doesn’t obey set patterns or park schedules. It’s the essence on Chaos.
ELLIE: I’m still not clear on Chaos.
MALCOLM: It simply deals with unpredictability in complex systems. It’s only principle is the Butterfly Effect. A butterfly can flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.
Ellie gestures with her hand to show this information has gone right over her head.
MALCOLM: I made a fly by, I go too fast.
Looking out of the opposite window, Grant sees movement at the far end of a field. He sits bolt upright, trying to get a better look.
Malcolm, looking for another example - -
MALCOLM: (Cont’d: points to the glass of water) Here. Give me your glass of water.
He dips his hand into the glass of water. He takes Ellie’s hand in his own.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d: Make like hieroglyphics.) Now watch the way the drop of water falls on your hand.
He flicks his fingers and a drop falls on the back of Ellie’s hand.
MALCOLM: (Cont’d) Ready? Freeze your hand. Now I’m going to do the same thing from the exact same place. Which way is the drop going to roll off?
ELLIE: The same way.
MALCOLM: It changed. Why? Because and here is the principle of tiny variations - -the orientations of the hairs - -
ELLIE: Alan, listen to this.
MALCOLM: - - on your hand, the amount of blood distending in your vessels, imperfections in the skin - -
ELLIE: Oh, imperfections?
MALCOLM: Microscopic - - never repeat, and vastly affect the outcome. That’s what?
ELLIE: Unpredictability…

—Jurassic Park, 1993, Steven Spielberg

LET ME TELL YA, yes, my life is determined by chaos.

It would be far arrogant on my side, and even I would be telling quite a lie if I said that I was determined to write novels and live in NYC, as I do at this moment.  (As you may read between lines, I have not been a writer all my life and I’m not from NYC). Wait.

Back. Sorry, I had a laugh attack.

If I looked backward, it woud be easy to draw perfect lines, and within the Nietzschean fable called “amor fati1” to reason and to give sense to each one of the decisions I’ve made in my lifetime. Yes, nobody forced me to take any of them (at least directly2). I can tell I made each one of the decisions by myself, but all of them were unpredictable.

It’s quite certain that the quality of life increases when we are at the helm of our own ship and don’t leave to be swayed by the tide. One can (and must) shout in her life: “I say Who, What, and Where!

Said that, ¿other lives had been or can be possible?
Probably, the answer is yes. Or better yet, it’s—wait for it—unpredictable.

The silver screen can provide to the characters other visions of life—Think of “Family Man,” for instance. John Campbell (Nicolas Cages) has the chance to see how would have been his life if he had not taken a flight to London to do a Master.

In real life, I’m sorry, my Dear Readers, hold your tears, this is not possible. Nobody will appear in your life to show you other visions of your own life. Even if some charlatans tell you the contrary. Fuhgeddaboudit.

I’ve found myself in this dilemma several times. I guess everybody had been at crossroads, at least once. And believe me, it gives me vertigo. When we are in front of the doors, we only can see the fog of the future. We have no clue what’s behind each of them. And we have the chance to open one at a time. Just one.

True enough, we will face a set of doors which are limited by the decisions we have made in the past, even though past circumstances may no be longer relevant.3

To give you an example, I’ll share with you a dilemma I had several years ago. By the time I got my degree, I had had a seven-year relationship. At the time many doors were awaiting for me to be opened: in general terms, I can name three: to get a job and stay with my boyfriend (to get married?)—society requirement—, to move to London—heart requirement—, and to do a Master—mind requirement.

I followed my heart first: I moved to London. A year later, I did a Master and I left my boyfriend. By the time I returned from London, I was heading straight to Hell4. Personally I was devastated. It would have been really selfish on my part to sway my boyfriend along with me to Hell. I had nothing to offer him but Hell. Yes, when you are lame, a stick helps a lot. But to use a person as a walking stick is the meaneast thing in the world. I was generous to him, but unfortunately at that time I didn’t know how to explain it to him.

What if I had decided to keep my relationship?
What if I had not moved to London?
What if I had not studied the Master?
What if…
What if…
What if…

As you can see, here we work with manifold doors. At the time, doors of fog.

¿Which one was the best election?

Humbly, I have no clue.

If it serves you right, I’ll tell you that my “amor fati,” what I find paramount when taking decisions, vital decisions, is, aside from the self-knowledge, to have COURAGE. In other words, taking the decision by keeping my fears aside. That bravery is what makes me feel satisfy with my life, whatsoever it is.

(1) It transforms all “it was” into “I wanted like that.”
(2) Until you come to grips with yourself, all can influence you indirectly.
(3) In economics and social sciences this is called "Path Dependence."
(4) No worries, my Dear Readers, I’m in the splendour of Life right now. As Nietzsche said once, “You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?”

Copyright© 2011 by THE PYTHAGOREAN STORYTELLER. All rights reserved.