Undoing Every Generation All at Once

Recently, I saw Everything Everywhere All at Once. I loved it. I loved a movie focusing on someone movies often ignore. I loved the over-the-topness, the maximalist, weirdness. I loved the sincerity and heartfelt storytelling.

This weekend I binged watched Undone on Amazon Prime. I didn’t plan to binge watch. The story and the animation pulled me in and kept me there. I hope they make a season 3.

Undone isn’t exactly a multiverse universe, but it is about changing your timeline. You could have a different life if you could change that one thing in your past.

But it is never really one thing.

Both stories deal with generational trauma, a topic that has long fascinated me. I don’t know what traumas my grandmother experienced in childhood. I’ve had to guess. I’ve guessed from what she never said–like anything about her father. She told me nothing about him. She did, however, speak glowingly of her step-father. Her step-father hung the proverbial moon. Her own father? What did he do? Where was he from? What was his name? She never told me. Life began when her step-father showed up.

No one could avoid talking about things like my grandmother. Who else could wait until after lunch to mention that her son had been killed in a car crash? That’s what my mom could never forget–eating the last bit of food and then finding out her brother was dead.

Perhaps like any writer worth their salt, I could write a book about my mom. Suffice to say that she needed electroconvulsive therapy at one point.

In Undone, it seems as if one thing is changed, just the one thing, everything else will fall into place. It’s not that easy, of course, not in the show and certainly not in real life.

If I could reach back into my family’s timeline and change an event, what would it be? Like Undone‘s Alma, I’d have to learn what that one thing even is.

What in your own grandmother’s life would you change if you could?

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