“I sought only to open your eyes to the world we could create together.”
In this phrase, does “could” refer to the past or is it a possibility about something that could happen in the future? The verb “sought” creates some confusion because that is the past tense and I don’t know if that therefore makes “could” also in past or if “could” can mean a possibility. What exactly does this “could” mean?
Could is conditional mood. It exists outside of time (as a hypothetical), but it could be a possibility that has closed (but then we would have seen could have create-d). However, in this case it is create, so it’s an awkward construction where the create clause is still a possibility, but the subject is no longer seeking (sought – past) that ‘reality.’