Everything, Everywhere, All at Once: Stories of Your Life
It’s 2:29 PM on Friday, Dec 30, 2022. I’m listening to the Unaccompanied Cello Suite №1 in G Minor of Bach, played by Yo-Yo Ma as I am writing this. It’s gray outside, drizzling and windy. I see tree branches swaying slowly or fast in the wind. It looks as if they are swaying to the rhythm of the Bach. I hear a gentle hum of the washing machine from upstairs.
There is nothing special about this moment but I find it strangely beautiful. It’s not just because of the silence in the house as I am alone right now. I’ve been alone before and the silence is familiar to me. Yet, everything feels extra quiet and still, internally and externally, even with Bach on speaker and the gentle hum of the washing machine. I feel so aware. This is the moment that will never repeat, and it applies to every moment that follows from here. Although there were moments I have felt similarly in the past, it is not the same as now. I also know I’ll feel differently at a similar moment in the future from how I feel now. This “completeness” of each moment feels so complete and utterly beautiful. When everything feels so quiet internally, no matter what’s happening outside, it encapsulates life in its entirety..
This kind of moment reminds me of the movie, “Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAO)” by Daniels. I loved it so much that I saw it three times and I still think about it. Every time I saw it, I got to see different things I didn’t see before. It reminds me of so many things to talk about that I couldn’t figure out how to express them in mere words.
After watching that film, I also thought a lot about “Stories of Your Life”, a short story written by Ted Chiang. This short story was made into a movie, “Arrival (2016)”, another all-time favorite film of mine. In my mind, I feel that “EEAO” and “Stories of Your Life” are having a never-ending conversation about life, suffering, death, self, and many other things and it’s fascinating.
Completeness of Now
In the film “EEAO”, Evelyn, our heroine, slips into the multiverse of life from the life she’s been so used to all her life. Her husband she came to despise, Waymond, turns out to be a very different person, “Alpha Waymond”, from someone she’s known for decades. Everything seems upside down and completely uncertain. To stunned…