A Tale for the Time Being: Time Dreams

Reading the last chapters of A Tale for the Time, I was struck by the conundrum of how Ruth directly affected Nao’s father and consequently the events in the diary, despite the difference in timeline for either. I found it fascinating how Ruth is reading the diary long after the events in it have occurred but at the same time, she puts in place events through her dreams, such as Haruki #1’s letters or when she talks to Nao’s dad. Like Ruth, I had forgotten that the events in the diary unfolded before Ruth’s timeline, yet the Ruth’s dreams and the events in the diary are concurrent with each other. It also reminded me of how Nao described herself in a dream hurting Reiko’s eye, and at school, Reiko was seen wearing an eye patch. While Nao’s dream of hurting Reiko did not diverge from the conventions of time like Ruth’s did, the potential that the repercussions of her dream affected Reiko suggest that the dreams were of the same variety. The fact that Nao’s dream actions may have physically manifested in reality and Ruth’s dream actions affected Nao and her father seem to form a pattern, and it makes me think of how Nao called both of them “time beings” and how she was going to “drop out of time.” In the dreams, were Nao and Ruth both dropping out of the continuous stream of time to act in such a way that seems impossible otherwise?

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