Jack recommended a short story by Ted Chiang entitled ‘Story of Your Life’, available for purchase on Amazon…
Jack said: “…it offers a very interesting take on time and the structures of language, and it’s also a beautifully crafted story, in which story and ideas support one another.”
What I enjoyed most about the story is the way it demonstrated, in the telling, how past present and future are experienced in the present. The narrator/mother tells the story of the daughter by using memories of past and future tense even though the daughter has passed away. And there was also the narrative of the story of the task of communicating with the aliens in shifting time. And as both of these stories move through shifts in time, they arrive at a mutually knowledgeable or understandable resolution at stories’ end, as past present and future catch up with each other.
Another aspect of the short story was about the development of language. How the ‘telling’ of the story of attempting to ‘communicate’ with an alien species, and the way physiology determines physical embodiment of how to be aware, or the manifestation of consciousness. It had me thinking of humans attempting to commune with dolphins and other species.
There were moments as I read the story that I found my usual boundaries, the ones engendered by under-the-surface expectations, would suddenly dissolve leaving me feeling unsupported, perhaps a little adrift. They were open moments of wonder at the unknown as I drifted in the context of the author’s story-world, as it leaked into my world. I found this exhilarating, which added to my enjoyment of this piece…and…of simply just being alive.