There Is This Theory of the Moebius

“There is this theory of the Moebius.  A twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop from which there is no escape.  So when we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again.”

This was what Worf and Geordi Le Forge in Star Trek, Next Generation said when they encounter a vortex that might have captured the Enterprise and her crew.  It was also sampled by Orbital to produce one of my favourite tunes as a student.

But it could very easily have been said about any given day, game or meal that I experience with my 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Mr. T.

The games that he plays always follow the same patterns and everything must be done in exactly the right way or he gets very annoyed.

We go through the same arguments when we ask him to come to the table and eat something, and yet, once he is at the table he eats pretty well.

He wants to read the same books at night, watch the same DVDs and listen to the same music.

His tantrums can be predicted, from the pre-tantrum stage via the vehement, face down, heart-felt crying to the post-tantrum that usually involves giggles while the last few tears make their way down his face.

He says the same things whenever we get into the car, see a bus or a tractor, or meet a dog on a walk.

English: Mobius strip deformed to have a circu...

A Moebius Strip. Made with Mathematica. (Wikipedia)

Everything just happens  again and again and again.  There is nothing new, no variation on a theme, no single, life changing moment.  Just one endless loop, going around and around and around.

We have done the first steps, the first words and the first trip to the potty.  What else is there to do except just stare at my smartphone while he crashes his big white car into the small red one for the thousandth time?

Except it isn’t like this.  It just seems as if it is.

This is not Captain Pickard being doomed to destroy his ship over and over again  because small things are changing all the time.

The games change imperceptibly.  The arguments about dinner get fiercer.  Over time, certain books, DVDs and music get dropped, to be replaced by others.  The tantrums get longer (but they are still followed by a smile).  The pronunciation of the words comes closer to the norm bit by bit.

Writing this blog has helped me because I am able to look back and see the amazing changes that have taken place over the last year or so, but which get lost in the day-to-day minutiae of being a dad.

But whatever it takes, I need to remember to put down the smartphone and start paying attention to all the small changes because whatever has happened, will never happen again.

Further Reading

I am now over half way through ‘1977’ by David Peace.  It is the follow up to 1974 and just as bleak and violent.  This one is also set in the north of England to the backdrop of a hot summer and the jubilee.  There are murders, rapes and police brutality a plenty.

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4 thoughts on “There Is This Theory of the Moebius

  1. It’s kind of amazing how much the same things feel. Until they change. I start getting used to the status quo (no matter how unpleasant), and then suddenly the kid’s in a new phase, and I have no idea what I’m doing.

    I’m with you though, blogging has really helped me to see the small things, to mark those changes, those little bits of growth, that otherwise I might otherwise either not notice or not remember.

  2. It’s funny how it all seems to be a repetition, but when you play close attention it is a bit different every time. I think adults also get stuck on that; for instance, when they do some kind of repetitive work, all seems the same, but if they pay close attention maybe on that day they make less mistakes, have more or less patience with their boss, etc. Yet on a larger scale we can notice patterns in our lives and usually things you don’t want to deal with come back eventually…
    The picture of the Moebius strip reminded me of the Torus (toroidal energy systems which could be viewed by toddlers as doughnuts), another mathematical view of a balanced energy flow.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Thereza,

      As I was writing this I realised that it is probably true for all parts of our lives as we do something by habit rather than actually thinking about it. I reckon this is why we are so often surprised at time flying by so quickly.

      I looked up Torus on Google and there were some reall cool images, so thanks for that.


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