A Tear in the Space Time Continuum


Rodney Warner, JD
Rodney Warner, JD

You might think time is constant. Sixty seconds to a minute, sixty minutes to an hour, 24 hours to a day, 365 days to a year, two weeks to your next round of chemo. It’s not that simple. How fast time passes depends on a couple things. How fast are you traveling? The faster your velocity, the slower time passes. For instance, if you were in a super fast space ship orbiting the Earth, time for you would pass slower than those on Earth, and you would age slower than those you left behind.

Also, time slows down depending on how close, or far, you are, from a very large mass (the closer and larger the mass, the slower time passes). If you could survive walking on the sun, for you, time would pass slower than walking on the Earth.

You know those GPS gadgets we use? They rely upon a system of satellites orbiting the Earth at very high speeds. They have incredibly sophisticated clocks onboard. Factored into the computer programing that determines where we are (in relation to the satellites) are the facts that those clocks, orbiting at high velocity, farther from the mass of Earth, run slower than those here on Earth.

Given how time is mixed in with mass and velocity, physicists have come up with the concept of space time. It is a way not only to measure where a thing is (the dimensions of height, width, length) but also when a thing is (factoring in the extra dimension of time). Making things even more interesting are theories that there are multiple universes. Some physicists, trying to piece together how the universe came to being from a “big bang” about 13 billion of our years ago, theorize that for us to be where we are now, from what’s believed to have happened 13 billion years ago, there must be multiple universes, multiple realities. These universes, these realities, could be virtually on top of us, next to us, but we couldn’t perceive them.

There may be universes without human beings or without cancer. There may be a universe where you never get cancer, or it kills you, or you’re cured. There may be a universe where you are the President of the United States, the Pope or the leader of Nazi Germany. Some have theorized that there may be universes with, and others without, Supreme Beings. Believe in God? Are you an atheist? Wherever you fall, I hope you’re in the right universe.

There have been times, when I could’ve sworn, I was in the same place, but at a different time, in a different reality (or maybe it was all my imagination). I remember being in church one Sunday in the course of my treatment, and it was your normal, Sunday, Catholic mass. The next thing I know, I’m a spectator at my own funeral. Same church, but with me in the casket, being rolled down the aisle. Friends and relatives were there, appropriately dressed up, and perhaps thankfully, appropriately distressed at my passing. It was a vision. It was like being transported in the blink of an eye. It seemed very real.

It was eight years ago this month I had my allogeneic bone marrow transplant. I was as sick as the proverbial dog. I didn’t know if the procedure was going to work, I didn’t know if I’d get infections, side effects, graft vs. host disease. It was one of those life or death times during treatment. Maybe it was the meds, maybe it was the stress, maybe it was my imagination, but I remember for that for a moment, another vision. I was in a hospital room, rigged up with IV’s and tubes, seeing myself, dying. I could feel it, see it, smell it. I was watching myself die, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Were these the products of over-active, stressed, fearful, medicated imagination? Or was I able to bridge a divide that normally can’t be crossed? I don’t have a definitive answer to that question, at least not in this reality. Perhaps a Rodney Warner in a different universe, truly knows the answer. I haven’t heard from him. If I get in touch with him, I’ll let you know.