We listen to the slow drawl of loons, the arresting squawks of crows and then to the haunting sounds of owls around us. I know that Remy thinks that owls symbolize death, so knowing he's thinking what I'm thinking, we both climb in our rigs without a word and begin our long trek north up the Cassiar Mountain Highway, away from the non-stop stream of eighteen-wheelers and the walls of rock. Remy leads the way to the Yukon, passing through a few Native villages and some large fields where hay has just been harvested. Half and hour into the drive there isn't any more traffic at all, and after a few hours there is nothing around, not even a farm. Only endless evergreen forests encircle us with the occasional river flowing southwest or a waterfall falling on the east side of the highway. I welcome the quietude, which gives me time to think about what it's like being an identical twin. I think about Remy and the way he is now, and how we have both evolved at different speeds during our lives. Remembering my doctor friend in Hong Kong who was so keen on twins, I recall a theory he told me about twins called the Twin Paradox. It's a scientific theory used to refute Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but to me it's quite simple in its basic form. It suggests that if one identical twin remained on earth while the other twin traveled away into space, the twin on earth would be older in years when the traveling twin returned. The life lived "on earth" is lived at a different speed than the life lived off of earth. It helped me explain the differences between Remy and me as mirror twins. When I was at university, Remy left Canada and traveled the world for seven years. It was clear to me that he developed at a different rate. Then when I left for my seven years of travel, he remained in Canada. So now with my return, the theory suggests that we have once again become the same age. Despite our growth being different at times in our development, there is still a peculiar symmetry. Like a double helix thread of genetic markers, we seem to come together at a point of intersection every seven years where we meet and are identical again. It's strange that seven years is a life cycle (one's DNA regenerates completely every seven years), and that it is every seven years that is our time of intersection.
The Twin Paradox may go some way to explain how we have developed at different speeds. It seems to be compatible with what I call ‘the twin dynamic,' the best measure of how we relate. Like Hegel's dialectic, we work together in terms of a thesis, antithesis and synthesis. We feed off each other bouncing ideas back and forth like a tennis match until a point is won and the thesis and antithesis become a synthesis. The result is that we both learn regardless of who wins the point. In this way, Remy is a conduit of truth for me, and I for him. Fourth-generation computer models for artificial intelligence use the same dynamic: twin computers working and feeding off each other to become smarter. One of us takes the South Pole while the other assumes the North Pole position in any given situation in order to achieve this synthesis - this new insight. The serious competition of our early high school days has passed, so the object is now symbiosis. It's easier to work together when each of us takes a south or north position in any given situation because it's less destructive. It's evolution of being in its purest form. By being apart, we have missed this vital aspect and I wonder if it has retarded our collective growth. I wonder if Remy would ever have reached this belief that he is the Pahana. I wonder if he's drifted too far and cannot be brought back from the precipice.
My walkie-talkie rings as we are climbing a steep grade somewhere past Cranberry Junction.
"This is Rainbow Thunderbird. Come in, over."
"This is... This is-"