While doing a Web search for H.G. Wells, yesterday, I stumbled across a holiday that is new to me. As I understand it, “Pretend to Be a Time Traveller Day” is an Internet phenomenon. Some people place the date as the one where the most people search for or mention “time traveller” more often. This may or may not be true. Regardless, I think the idea for a holiday that salutes time travellers is a useful one.
If you pause to think about it, all of us are mental time travellers nearly every day anyway. We slip into the past when we remember a pleasant moment with a special friend or when we regret something that happened long ago. We zoom into the future when we anticipate something fun and exciting or when we dread encountering an important deadline.
“Pretend to Be a Time Traveller Day” can be a day when we purposely don’t live in the moment, yet ironically do live in the moment. Do you catch my drift?
Take for example, you decide to mentally go back in time to December 8, 1925 for an entire day, or as long as you can. You visualize your “real present” as 1925 regarding clothing, food, social attitudes, etc. When you see things as you go about your routine here on December 8, 2016, you look and feel as astonished as someone would who actually did get caught in a time loop from 91 years ago.
While you read this blog post on your device right now, you find yourself startled to be looking at technology that will only be possible 91 years from the time period of which you are accustomed. See everything you interact with in this light.
Similarly, if you decide to travel into the future, you can imagine what the world and society will be like 91-years (or whenever) from now. As you go about your daily routine, you can experience life as if you have been thrust into a museum world. As you read this post on your device you think that it’s a rather quaint, antique artifact.
If this post still exists in some form 91-years from now and if you are actually reading this in the year 2107, hello from the past.
To get yourself ready for today’s time journey, try to remember what you ate for dinner last Thursday. Did you eat at home? Were you a guest? Was it eaten at a restaurant? Did you have a salad first? What was the entree? What kind of sides did you eat? Was there dessert? Was the meal prepared conventionally or did it come pre-packaged in a plastic tray and microwaved? Did you take your dinner with someone else? Your significant other? Your family? Alone? Close your eyes and visualize, as exactly as possible, that dinner.
As far as my own dinner, last Thursday, I went alone to the delicatessen at the HyVee supermarket a few blocks away from my home. I selected my dinner a la cart from the buffet. I chose a pasta salad made from shell macaroni, green peas in a mayonaise sauce and topped with tiny cheddar cheese chunks. Since I eat a small evening meal, I added only a three-bean salad on the side, and cream of potato soup. I did not have dissert, but did have one small cup of decaf coffee with imitation creamer. My friend Robert spotted me when I was half finished with the dinner. He sat down at my table to chat for a few minutes. Robert was sipping a cola with a straw from a large cup.
Now that we have dinner out of the way, where do we want to go? Perhaps the past, to Morocco in the early 1800s? Perhaps further back to Edo, Japan in the year 1616? Maybe you want to experience an African tropical forest far, far into prehistory. You are limited only by your imagination. Go ahead, ride the currents of time. Once there, visualize every single aspect and detail of your surroundings. Would you be able to communicate verbally or in writing? If not, would you pretend to be an illiterate mute? You’ve travelled into the past before now, but this time really go for perfection.
Personally, I want to move forward another decade or two from now. I visualize myself still living independently, not in a nursing home or otherwise institutionalized. I’ll be in a small, efficient house equipped with the latest technological enhancements. A community provided self-driving vehicle is available for my convenience whenever I wish to go somewhere.
The United States, will be in the recovery stages of a major war and economic crisis. Domestic civil strife will be much less than it was in 2016 because people, as a whole, decided to become less Balkanized and parochial. Life isn’t rainbows and unicorns, but it is pleasant overall. There is the ever present threat of fascism that simmers just below the surface, following our dangerously close, near disasterous fall into domestic tyranny before 2019.
That is the outline of my journey into time. What is yours?
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor William Shatner. “I find the whole time travel question very unsettling, if you take it to its logical extension. I think it might eventually be possible, but then what happens?”