In 1999 a young and hopeful Sol is on the verge of a marriage proposal to his romantic partner Sophia, but his life is interrupted by an arresting encounter with this older self, The Elder, Sol from 2030. A world-weary cynic, The Elder decides he has a chance to change the past. He gives Sol one clear command from his experience – “Don’t marry Sophia, she’ll break your heart.” He tells Sol of an unkind future, insisting it’s better to accept life’s vanity now than to live in hope of meaning. Sol attempts to defy this cynicism, but The Elder’s warnings play on his anxieties about an unknown future. Ultimately, Sol rejects the dire predictions and tells the Elder he’ll embrace uncertainty with hope. Sophia is revealed as a figure of cosmic significance (Proverbs 8) who caused this temporal enigma. She appears to The Elder to show him it was he that had drifted from her, not the other way around. As Sol heads to make his proposal, The Elder returns to his time with his Sophia. Both men discover the limits of their visions, the complexity of wisdom, and the insight that everything is made beautiful in its time.
SOPHIA is drawn from the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, a diverse genre that encompasses romantic youth (Song of Songs), the hopeful moralism of adulthood (Proverbs), and the tired confessions of an old ‘preacher’ who’s seen it all, regarding life as mere vanity, ‘meaningless’ (Ecclesiastes). Seemingly clashing perspectives that have nonetheless sat together in scripture for millennia. I love the idea of this canonical ‘conversation’, as well as the tradition that they are sequential chapters in the one life of Solomon, son of David, supposed paragon of wisdom. I wanted to put that conversation into narrative form, set within our lifetime to bring those ancient ‘wisdom’ questions to our world. I wanted a nostalgic young love we could root for, as well as a broken cynicism that (since we’re in 2020) we can easily relate to. Lastly, I’m fascinated by the idea of time travel as a theologically resonant dramatic device, one that holds out the possibility of rectifying past mistakes through a supernatural means of grace. Time travel holds out the constant possibility of change, whilst also teaching its participants about human contingency and finitude, and the way in which time eludes our control.