Back to the future


It’s so tempting to take refuge in old movies, isn’t it? To view the world in grayscale. Back, far back, to a time when fossil fuels still seemed like a good idea. Going backwards often seems like my default, my reflex, my first choice. I have a huge, teetering stack of new books to read, and I want to reread the old ones first.

But going through what I have been going through presents a distinct challenge to this way of being. Were I alive back then, the challenges to my existence might have come from any number of directions. And if I’d gotten sick then — or even in as recent a past as the George W. Bush administration — I would not be here today.

I wonder what Doctor Coley, dead some eighty years now, would think if he could see that his initial thoughts about immunotherapy have borne fruit. What he proposed seemed like flying car territory back then. But it wasn’t far off.


The boys and J and I were talking about flying cars the other day, when the (street legal, apparently) vehicle above was briefly parked around the corner from our house. To speak of the future still means to speak of flying cars. And yet, no one ever asks the birds how they’d feel about that.

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