We are our own personal time machine traveling daily from the past into the future. We revisit the past via our memories and the movies and photos of times gone by. We catch a glimpse of the future in the same way. What we do with the present is up to us.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by time. Stories about time. Stories about time travel. Stories about the past. Stories about the future. I have not really been much interested in stories set in the present day unless their characters are preoccupied by events from the past or contemplating the future.
My favorite episode of Lost In Space involved the Robinson family traveling back in time to Earth 1947 (“Visit to a Hostile Planet”). My favorite episode of Star Trek (“City On the Edge of Forever”) found Kirk and Spock back in America of the 1930s.
And don’t get me started on The Time Tunnel or Voyagers!.
Between Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch, Sherwood Schwartz created a one season sitcom called It’s About Time about two astronauts who accidentally get trapped back in cave man days. The theme song still runs through my head at the oddest times.
Why has it been that way? Perhaps because I have always viewed time as something precious to be thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps because my family moved frequently during my childhood (I lived in 5 different cities in 3 different states before I turned 18) and I lived in dread fear of my father walking in the door and announcing we were moving again. By the time I became a teenager, I resisted making friends. I didn’t really see the point as it seemed just a matter of time (there’s that word again) before we would move and I would have to face the heartbreak of losing friends and starting all over. I just didn't want the pain.
I eventually relaxed that stance and by the time I was in high school I had a group of good friends and my first girlfriend. I knew I was in one of the best times of my life (certainly the best up until then). I didn’t fear moving as much but I also knew we could move at anytime. So I took to remembering everything: as many of the moments, as many of the funny bits, as many of the good lines as I could. It was like I turned on a video recorder in my head and it is still going 30 years later.
That is one of the reasons I became a writer. Because I wanted to remember everything. Because I knew that no time we live in can last forever. Because I wanted to write it down for the times when I would not have these friends, these relatives, these significant others around me. I wanted these moments on paper when they no longer have me. And to pass it down through time.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) was one of the best and wisest movies last year. Toward the end, main character Charlie observed:
“There are people who forget what it’s like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories some day. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening, I am here....You are alive, and….you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.”
We are our own personal time machine traveling daily from the past into the future. We revisit the past via our memories and the movies and photos of times gone by. We catch a glimpse of the future in the same way.
What we do with the present is up to us.
WHY THIS SONG OF THE DAY?
"It's All Been Done" by Barenaked Ladies
Because it reminds me of time. Because I think we run into the same people over and over from lifetime to lifetime. It reminds me that we shall see each other again.