Monday, February 16, 2009

How does one explain links to the past?

Fram's "somewhere in time" watch. It has a solid gold case and was made in 1883. It contains photographs of, presumably, a mother (visible) and her daughter. Remember, my photography is for illustrative purposes and not designed to be "pretty," so please don't grade it.

From "Somewhere in Time"
Until "Time and Again"

The movie, "Somewhere in Time," with Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, was on television Saturday evening. I've seen parts of it before, but on this occasion I spotted it just as it was beginning. I was hooked inside the first minute or two.

The movie is based on a 1975 novel by Richard Matheson. I've never read the book. Maybe I will now. A curious element to the movie was the use of the name G. Finney as a supporting character to Reeve's protagonist, Richard Collier. Finney is a professor whose students had included Collier. As the story develops, Finney explains his theory and technique of time travel to Collier. The curious element is that the theory is darn near verbatim to that developed by Jack Finney in his 1970 novel, "Time and Again." My assumption is that there was a gentleman's agreement between the two authors, otherwise the accusation of plagiarism most certainly would have been hurled.

One of the elements of "Time and Again" is a man traveling back to 1882 as part of a secret government project, and falling in love with a woman living back there/back then. The only element to "Somewhere in Time" is a love story. A young man meets an elderly woman, eventually learning they had fallen in love in 1912. He sets out to travel back there/back then to meet her. The technique for accomplishing the feat of time travel was the same in both stories.

"Time and Again" is one of my all-time, favorite books. I don't suppose academia will ever qualify it as literature, but it is in my mind, plus, it's a fascinating story. Finney's follow-up novel was titled, "From Time to Time." It is tedious, and not nearly so good as the first book. My impression is that the sequel was composed primarily of research material Finney did not use and had left over from "Time and Again."

I cannot say I've ever fallen in love with anyone from the past, but I once felt enough of an inexplicable attraction to a photograph of a woman in an old pocket watch to the degree that I bought it. Well, it's not quite that simple. I'm not exactly a collector of old watches, but I do have five old wrist watches and six old pocket watches, the newest of which is 1923 and the oldest of which is 1877.

My "somewhere in time" watch is an ornate, barrel-style, 14 karat hunter-cased Elgin that dates to 1883. I later added a chain, a $5.00 gold piece from 1843, a pen knife and a bezel to hold the coin, in order to make myself a complete "outfit." Like the watch, all the accessories are 14 karat. (Who thinks guys don't pamper themselves?)

The woman in the photo in the watch looks to be a typical, average, ordinary, 30ish housewife from that era. There is another photo in the back of the watch that has been damaged beyond recognition other than to be able to tell it was a portrait of a curly-haired, blonde girl, presumably her daughter.

This particular watch, I was told, had been in a safe deposit box for more than 50 years, and had been part of an estate sale. Other than that, no information was publicly available. This is an instance of "lost in time," at least for a generation. I had been planning to put together such a rig for a couple of years before I actually did and, consequently, had been keeping my eyes open for a watch "right for me." The selling point on this particular item was my attraction to the woman in the photo. Explain it if you can, for I cannot.

The name "Fram" fits me just fine ....

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."

William Shakespeare
"As You Like It" Act 2, scene 7, 139-143

My "stage name" is Fram. I took it because it is the Norwegian word meaning "forward" and because it is the name of a much-traveled ship.

Fram is the wooden ship generally considered to have sailed both the farthest north and the farthest south. Fridtjof Nansen purposely allowed his Fram to freeze into the Arctic ice pack in 1893, hoping it would drift to the North Pole. It did not. Roald Amundsen, the first to reach the South Pole, used the ship for his Antarctic expedition of 1910. The Fram is now housed in a museum in Norway. Some day, I should like to stand next to it for an hour or two, and listen to it whisper its story to me.

Not having a ship of my own, I placed the name of Fram on my canoe which, while not having been in polar waters, has taken me on many lengthy river and lake excursions. My canoe has granted me permission to use its name for internet purposes. The name fits both of us well.

Music Note: Currently listening to a classic rock station on the radio .... in the mood for a variety of sounds this evening ....


Inanna said...

If you believe in reincarnation no explaination is necessary.

This watch and the person pictured inside of it was part of a past life of yours, that is why you purchased it.

The fact that you also completely finished the watch, is also an indicator that you were linked to this lady.

Maybe that is why such books as you describe fasinate you. I have been following your blog, and the others that you have posted, you look to the past to understand your present.

But if you don't believe in reencarnation, then all I can say is that there is some vague memory in your mind about the image of this person to someone you knew from your childhood, but forgot.

And that will be a mystery for you to look into. Good Luck.

Fram said...

Thank you for visiting and for reading, Inanna.

I neither believe nor disbelieve in reincarnation.

Sometimes, it seems to me I have an opinion on just about everything, but am convinced about very few things. Skeptical about everything; discounting nothing. Everyone experiences deja vu, and I have thought about the possibility of ancestral memories being somehow passed genetically.

There is an Old Norse story about a Viking and a priest that probably fits my position well. I want to think about your comment for a few days, and write some more then.

TheChicGeek said...

Your watch is beautiful. I collect antiques myself. What I find so interesting about them is that they have a history you can somehow feel in your bones. I love to imagine who owned them before me and what kind of life they may have had. You have a really interesting blog. I love the way you express yourself :)
Have a Great Day!

Fram said...

I agree completely with you about antiques. My first question when thinking about buying an item usually is, "Do you know the provenance?" Unfortunately, the answer generally is less than adequate (at least, less than hoped for).

Thank you, TheChicGeek, for taking the time to look around and for the nice words. Your page is spectacular, and fun to explore.

Something special ....