We receive messages from our loved ones in the form of letters and pictures, witnessing the years transform their faces and, to a much more obvious degree, our children. But unlike Cooper, time doesn’t stop or slow down for me. Because by the time I make it home, my son will be about the same age I was when I got here (prison), only we won’t be the same age.
I fear that day. The day my son accuses me of abandoning him, knowing very well his birth was just around the corner. Only I won’t have a response to give him like the heroes in the movies, the ones that sacrifice themselves for the greater good. My actions were not noble but born of chaos and tyranny, which left many in my life heartbroken and disappointed. How could I ever hope to explain this without him eventually resenting me and discarding my love, when he reaches adulthood? It’s simple, I can’t because no words could ever explain away my actions. No matter how much I change or how much success I gain, I can’t buy back time and I can never take back what I’ve done. All the money on this planet could never replace the love and protection a father provides his son by just being there every day to hold and encourage him. Even so, no matter what happens, I hope that one day he knows how hard I fought to get back home and that all I do is for him. For the family.
Yet as much as my heart aches and as deep as my shame may cut, my instinct to survive has been triggered. A fire has been lit and burns fervently inside my heart and soul. I know there are those that will see me more like Professor Brand (Michael Cain) than Cooper, working on a “useless equation”, making promises I can’t possibly keep and setting goals for a future that won’t ever exist. I see it differently though because I choose to believe like Murph believes. There is another half to this equation and I plan to solve it. Only in one area do I agree with Professor Brand and that is on his perception of time. Because death is inevitable and it will come for us all eventually whether or not we choose to fight or just accept it, time does not care. So time is what I fear, having enough time to make a difference.
Now that I’ve gone through the “wormhole” and begun to settle down for the long and arduous journey, I can’t help but think of home. Things are changing every day. Phones ring yet no one answers, letters are written with no responses and visits become less frequent. I’m slowly becoming a memory, a ghost. Am I being foolish for trying to hold on to an idea, to a vision of life that can no longer exist for me? And even if I do make it home, will there be a place for me in the lives my family has made for themselves in my long absence? Will I have to find a new home, a new life? So many questions and nothing but time to contemplate.
When Cooper finally makes it home, he returns to find the world he left is no longer the world which now exists and though they recreated his old home perfectly, he knows it will never be the same. We can’t return to a past that has been buried by the sands of time no matter how hard we try or how deep we dig. Time won’t allow it. It can stretch and squeeze but it can never run backwards.
So I remember and I take comfort in those warm afternoons spent in that rundown backyard in what now feels like another life, but I look to the future. Giving everything I have left inside me with the wholehearted hope to one day earn my way home and counting every minute until I do.
“And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas