Places of old
From the Book Of Travels, Vol. 2, Chapter 5: “[..]Time travels? They say there’s no such thing… I disagree. Though, it might be different than people would expect. This is not your old, clichy trip through years forth and back, causing confusing by seeing things unseen so far, or making your own life difficult by travelling back just to stumble across your grandmother in her 20s. It won’t just work like this. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, after all. It’s just … different.
Maybe it’s just a matter of places, a matter of a certain mental state, of a certain kind of life to live. But it’s possible, and, same as space and time are continuous, it moves you through time by travelling through space. Essentially, it’s about going back to places of old, to places you’ve used to spend a long time in, until you eventually had or wanted to move on for whichever reasons.
Maybe it will not get you to the future, but it will certainly get you to the past. Take a step back, breathe deep, and see them around… maybe by then you’re about to catch a glimpse of your childhood self, running around in meadows chasing butterflies and grasshoppers under a bright blue sky in what seemed endless summer holidays, school and most of the things to worry about being as far away as the few thin white clouds crossing the horizon. Not yet very much thinking about time slowly moving forth, at the speed of one day per day, on a steady course, carring you with it, ready or not. Wrestling imaginary dragons between skies of blue and fields of green. Chances are it’s a just a vague pictures, schemes from a memory, like old fading prints, but maybe it feels closer, more real in a quiet evening.
Maybe you’ll, by then, also spot your late teenage self. Summer again, but later in any possible way. Proud as can be, most of the schools so far just left behind, including driving school. Cold streetlights. Blue nights. Long past midnight. Unreal perception of suddenly being behind the wheel of a car. Long distance driving, or what you by then used to see as ‘long’. Strange teenage Romeos dressed in leather jackets, jeans, sneakers, searching for both willing Julias and a style of their own while cruising the dark hours of summer. Long nights, early mornings, strange hours of getting to know oneself. Glorious days at least while looking back at them, knowing that a load of things tend to look more glorious in a moment of flashback. For sure it’s a trip back free of sadness or melancholy, free of regret or looking for time spent on nothing all along the way. It’s a trip back being at least content, or even better grateful for things as they were and as they are.
Maybe, yet, there is that crucial moment back then, back there, when that childhood self, that teenage self of yours become aware of your presence for a moment, stop chasing clouds or nighttime birds for a moment, and glance, stare at you, and be it just for a short moment, making you shiver a bit until you see it’s you looking at your current self through their eyes… What would you see? What would they see? How would they see their common later self, at this point in time? Would they be happy, pleased, proud, surprised, glad with how things went? Would they recognize, run for you, embrace you? How much if so?
Maybe it’s no time trip at all. It’s a reflection. A strange trip, or even more just the idea of a trip, flashing through your mind for an infinitely short moment on a sunny afternoon while visiting places of old.”
That’s where the passage ends. So does the flashback, short and intense as it was. He closes the book, and, slowly moving it back to its shelf, gazes out of the window where clouds race by through a stormy day of Spring…