The Timeless and the Ageless
We like to talk about timeless, ageless beauty, like in the Rod Stewart song. We believe that it is possible to be timeless and ageless in time. This is, of course, not true. Ageless and timeless are inherently atemporal concepts. We might stand still while everything and everybody around us move, but this does not make us ageless, it takes us to a state not dissimilar to being dead. In Janacek’s opera The Makropulos Affair Elena Makropulos has been 42 for almost 300 years, and for 300 years emotion has been dying in her, leaving her essentially cold. Eventually, the tension between apparent timelessness and actual age brings the edifice to collapse, and to a chosen, rapid death. If humans attain earthly immortality, they will be facing the Elena Makropulos dilemma, and might find the same end!