I love Time Travel.
I love watching films & series about people travelling through Time, communicating across Time, warping & manipulating the Space-Time continuum…
Back to the Future, 12 Monkeys, The Time Machine, ARQ, Looper, Primer (not to mention a whole host of short time-travel-based offerings on YouTube & Vimeo) – the list of titles I’ve gorged myself on over the years is almost endless, and if I had a time machine I’d probably head back at some point and watch them all over again.
So, as the kids today say, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” (They don’t still say that? What year is this? Oops!)
Of course, each of us has a whole host of different reasons why we’d love to travel in time – to right a wrong, to change our lives for the better, to meet dead heroes in the flesh, or to join the twenty-mile-long queue which seems to have been formed, of people waiting for their chance to kill Hitler. But, for me, I think it’s more about being able to travel to a place from which I’ve been banned by Time itself.
Should we ever consider visiting the past, Time seems to stand in our way, blocking our path and screaming “Thou shalt not pass!” into our tiny, human faces.
But we want to pass. We want to see what lies beyond that next hill. As a species, we are by nature explorers, treading on every continent, diving to the deepest ocean trenches, soaring into the sky – and beyond, as other planets beckon. But that one land eludes us.
It is a kingdom unto itself. United. Indefatigable. Try as we might we cannot change even the tiniest of details of the most humble of creatures dwelling there. Our weapons cannot harm it, nor threats persuade it from its inevitable course. The Kingdom of the Past is all-powerful.
The present is a reality made up of this moment, with all it holds, spread out across the Earth and out into the Universe. One moment in Time, across the infinite span of Space.
The Past, however, encompasses the infinite vastness of a single moment, multiplied by the countless number of moments which have existed since the birth of Creation itself. An unimaginable pile of moments, set one upon the other, each encompassing an infinity of Space in a sliver of Time.
The Past is an infinite mansion, where every wonderfully-gilded room contains countless doors leading to other exquisitely-exciting rooms, each filled with their own doors to other rooms, and to rooms within rooms within rooms.
In contrast, the Present is just a room. A large room, to be sure, but still just a room. A room with only one door, and that door leads only to one place. The moment beyond this one.
Sometimes it can feel claustrophobic, trapped in a single moment, while all that I have cherished from previous moments passes Time on that narrow path, and joins the Kingdom of the Past.
That’s why I love Time Travel.