Monday, January 11, 2010

Time Travel

Ever since I was a little girl, and I read H.G. Wells' "Time Machine", I have been fascinated by the concept of time travel. In the movie "Somewhere in Time", Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) was able to travel back to 1912 in order to visit the young Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), who had first visited him in as an elderly woman 1980. Confused? It was sort of a treacly movie, but it fascinated me because of the element of time travel. In a way, we are able to time travel now, using the method of episodic memory. We can sit quietly in a chair, close our eyes, and travel back to a place in time where other events are occurring and other people are in our lives. Episodic memory is not always reliable. Often we edit the episodes in our lives, sometimes to make them better or worse than what really occurred, but it's wonderful to visit there anyway.

Someone recently said something to me that "twigged" a memory that I had long forgotten. The memory was bittersweet, and I was able to take it out, visit it, and then put it back into the memory banks again. Perhaps that is the beauty of memory. We can turn it on or off at will. I have often been asked if there is a point in my life to which I would like to return, even for just a few moments. Oh, goodness, yes -- there are lots of them. I can think of dozens, perhaps hundreds of moments I would like to re-live. But I think it's fortunate that we are unable to do that, because where would that leave today -- or the memories of tomorrow? At the time we were living our lives in the past, were we aware we were making the memories of the future? Today is tomorrow's memory and one day we will revisit it. It is within our power to make it a good memory or a bad one. Today we are surrounded on both sides by our past and our future. We can reach out in either direction, but the only direction in which we can have any tangible effect is the future. We cannot change our past.

I hope you go out today, have some fun -- even for a few minutes -- and make some good memories. Take pleasure in everything you do and cherish the people in your lives. Today you are living in your future's past, and it is all fleeting. Live, laugh, love -- make tomorrow's memories.

Cheers,

23 comments:

greenpanda said...

There are so many hundreds and thousands of moments I'd want to do again, or correct, or blot out. In the end I taught myself to live for now.
It was worth it. :D

Charles Gramlich said...

They had a special on time travel on the science channel last night.

Pauline said...

My Memere used to tell us to make one happy memory a day. That way when we ended up in the rocking chair, we'd have lots of good memories to entertain us. I'd love to be able to travel back or forward or even sideways - there's so much we don't know about how our world works...

jojo said...

such a beautiful post today Jo...

PurestGreen said...

Some of my favourite memories are brought on by scent. When the aroma of something familiar catches me and my mind tries to catch up with my body, and in that moment there is the memory, but no words to go with it. I love it when that happens.

houndstooth said...

I so agree with you on that one!

SparkleFarkle said...

What a thoughtful read this has been! Somewhere In Time was made on the beautiful Mackinac Island located in my state. What a lovely place and a lovely movie! Thanks for the wonderful idea; I think I'll go back in time with it! (<-- make it this week's rental). On the lighter side, can I leave you with an oh-so-timely Jack Handey quote?

"IF YOU GO flying back through time and you see somebody else flying forward into the future, it's probably best to avoid eye contact."

All my best, and Jack's, too, SF~~~~~*

Carla said...

I wish I had your healthy attitude. I know we should all live in the present. But I feel so sad about the choices I've made and where I've ended up. No one to blame but myself. I grieve for the past. Oh, to be thirty again.

Arley said...

Sean and I love time travel too. Ever seen Doctor Who? Great show about time travel on the BBC. Oh gosh, I'm showing my geeky side...lol. Great post Jo!!!

Owen said...

Perhaps you've come across Terry Gilliam's wonderful Time Bandits? Another take on the subject...

But what a beautifully poignant mood you seem to be in here Jo... Pensive... and yes, seize the day... for it is all we have really. Take care Jo and stay warm...

Tom Bailey said...

It is an interest concept to time travel... I work on NOT bringing the past into my present and not trying to live in the future but to only learn from the past and look briefly to the future and treasure the current moment and love the life I lead now.

Kindest regards,
Thank you for sharing this.

Tom Bailey

Brenda said...

I haven't seen that movie but it sounds like one that I would enjoy. The TV show "Lost" is about time travel, or at least we Think it is. I think dreaming is like time travel. I agree with PurestGreen in that smells are what brings memories for me.

Carol said...

I needed that today....no wiser words were ever spoken!

Country Girl said...

I find the idea of time travel so intriguing, Jo. I'm currently reading the second of Jack Finney's time travel books, From Time to Time which take place in New York City. This one is 1912. Very good read.

Hilary said...

Time travel stories always intrigue me. This was a lovely post, Jo. One we're sure to remember somewhere in time. ;)

Cloudia said...

Very well written.
Hows your back?

Feel better!

Cloudia said...

Always wished that I could time-travel...

Nancy said...

Loved this post, Jo! I'm reading a book right now that has time travel - Trish MacGregor's Kill Time. I thought about going back in time if I had the ability but then like some of the book's characters - I wouldn't want to come back. So then how would I know what I might be missing if I didn't make the memories? Same point you are making. We are creating the future with every moment.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Good advice. I am very conscious of how important it is to take time to make memories. I apply this especially in my marriage. It's not good enough just to be living, it's important to really alive and as a result, have a store of memories to enjoy for years to come.

KathyB. said...

I was not aware of how important "making good memories" was until just a few years ago. To hear loved ones reminiscing about our years gone by makes me wish I had been more aware of this, but now that I am older I really do work lovingly ( I hope)at making good and precious memories for the special people in my life...and am thankful for the opportunity to do so...great post Jo!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Time travel intrigues me, too. But I think I will just stay here today and work on tomorrow....

heartinsanfrancisco said...

There have been moments of startling clarity in which I just knew that I would always remember something - a scene, a conversation, usually something quite normal. And I have always retained those particular memories which are as readily accessible as yesterday morning.

It would be wonderful if we could live every moment in full awareness that it will either pleasure or haunt us later, and the choice is ours.

Mia said...

I time travel every day. My problem is that I can only go forward.