Tick tick tick tick tick. I heard it. Unsure of where this unidentified sound was coming from, I listened for the pattern. Persistent and yes, definitely a ticking. I finally eased towards the guest bedroom where my boyfriend has a large black jewelry box on one end of the dresser filled with time pieces. Many of them antique pocket watches. He must have wound one before he left for work and decided against donning the vintage pendant, packing it back into its shallow drawer for me to find. Loosely keeping time with or without a witness. I say “loosely” because these old watches weren’t the most precise versions of time technology and actually lose time as they tick. Some really old models even lose so much as a full twenty-four hours. This collection of pocket watches ironically sits on the opposite end of my Alice in Wonderland collection. On the back corner of the large, dark dresser I have displayed a ceramic tea-set shaped in the form of each Wonderland character. There are pocket watch saucers with Chesire Cat tea cups atop them, a Queen of hearts tea pot, a White Rabbit milk container and an Alice sugar pot. I also have a decorative card deck that is specially rigged to build an excellent house of cards, two postcard sized framed milieus of the the Mad Hatter’s tea party (one vintage and one Disney), and last but definitely not least, I have a yellowing book entitled The Magic of Lewis Carroll.
Outside of having written one of the most inventive, timeless, and valuable children stories of our time, Lewis Carroll was also a mathematician obsessed with riddles and puzzles. One question that troubled him for much of his life was this: where does the day begin? He would write letters to newspapers and government offices posing this question. He was curious about time and how it behaved. He was constantly questioning the relevance of fundamental math and science, which would explain the many conundrums Alice came across in Wonderland. The rules she had been taught in her few years of schooling were being very challenged by this strange collection of characters.
“Well, I’d hardly finished the first verse,’ said the Hatter, ‘when the Queen bawled out “He’s murdering the time! Off with his head!” ‘
‘How dreadfully savage!’ exclaimed Alice.
‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’ clock now.’
A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?’ she asked.
‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: ‘it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.’
Alice ’s Adventures in Wonderland
There was the issue of time. During the mid nineteenth century, when Mr. Carroll was thriving, there were still many inconsistencies of time-telling methods. It was still mostly based on the sun, which varied from place to place and the idea of time zones was still just an idea. This became a large problem for train schedules and a push towards a more consistent and agreed upon telling of time was finally applied around 1884 once the industrial revolution was in full effect. In other words, the idea of time was not precise at all. As afore mentioned, even the timepieces that were carried around were far from accurate or reliable. Carroll’s irony of using the anxious White Rabbit to lead Alice towards a world that has fluctuating rules is very fitting. The White Rabbit repeatedly looks at his pocket watch, which we have just learned is far from reliable, and exclaims how late he is over and over again. Time seems to just pass and pass as the White Rabbit doesn’t get much closer to his destination. Lewis Carroll’s life and his stories about Alice are riddled with applicable themes.
The Magic of Lewis Carroll points out, “that Arthur Stanley Eddington, in his book Space, Time and Gravitation, as well as lesser writers on relativity theory, have compared the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where time stands still with the portion of De Sitter’s model of the cosmos where this is the case forever “(pg.26). My inclination to use Lewis Carroll as a reference for my exploration of themes and concepts in Dimension is no different. Especially when it comes to time.
In the case of Episode One of Dimension we have a girl named Shondra who has arrived in a time and place unbeknownst to her. How can this happen? Due to Shondra’s lack of memory we can deduce that she was either in a bad accident or has somehow passed through time. Based on her appearance and the painfulness of her injuries we can point towards accident. Her sense of self is very convoluted however, and there are no signs of anyone else having been to the site in which she arrived. We can assume there were no foot prints in the sand from either herself or another person, no road in view, no disturbances to the surroundings at all. It’s as if she simply…appeared. Could it be that both of these things are true? That she underwent some sort of accident and she time traveled? Perhaps it’s the accident itself that has caused her to push through to another dimension. So what are the ways in which this could have happened? Shondra would need to find a way to travel faster than the speed of light in order to create a “tear in the fabric of the space-time continuum of the universe” (cyberboris.wordpress.com). Much like Alice’s fall into the rabbit hole, Shondra went through a passage of her own and ended up in a different world.
“Down down down. Would the fall never come to an end?…I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth”.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Though Carroll was toying with the idea of falling through the center of the earth, nowadays scientists wonder what would happen if we just fell forever in space or if it’s possible to fall through a hole that will take us to an alternate universe. One of the theories for this is called wormhole transportation. A folding of space and time causing two blackholes (from two different times) on either end to come together and touch. Now you have formed a wormhole. The worm hole spins, or should I say twists, from the two black holes on either end that are spinning in opposite directions at light speeds. The wormhole itself, or the “passage” results in traveling at faster speeds than that of light. This is what introduces the possibility of time travel or entering other dimensions. The speed. Of course, matter cannot travel this fast without being torn apart or stretched like spaghetti.
This could be one explanation for Shondra’s feeling of “something missing”. She was torn apart but some of her cells and consciousness have managed to make it through the wormhole and come together to form a new body. She became a fraction of her original self once she arrived to the new dimension, being the reason behind her having no viable memory or identity. “Shondra” is basically a fragment of her former self. The accident or tragic occurrence she underwent is still a mystery and is a big part of what Shondra’s objective will be. What happened to her, how it happened and why? The same question man has been asking since the beginning of time (whenever that was). The questions that drive us towards invention, towards spirituality, towards war, towards science and towards philosophy. It’s what keeps us journeying towards a more meaningful existence. Towards answers.
And for me…towards fiction.