Dreams, Reflections, Visions

The Trouble with Time Travel…

We are standing on the banks of a river, wide and slow in some places, narrow and quick in others.  He says to me, “a good time traveler skips across the river of time like a leaf…”

“A leaf?,” I think to myself, and immediately translate it to mean “stone”.

“So, like a stone, I would touch down only briefly, moving quickly along, and allowing momentum to carry me forth.  That way I could move forward or backward in time, but maintain a linear progression in whichever direction I choose to travel…?”

He looked at me blandly before adding, “or laterally.”

“Laterally?,” I asked, momentarily confused.  

“Ohhh… of course!,” I added.  “I could skip across the river of time, rather than following its flow!…  But that would allow me to be in multiple places at one time, wouldn’t it?”

He just looked at me and said nothing…

“Oh, right,” I responded when I figured it out.  “If I’m skipping across time, then I’m only touching down briefly in each place.  Therefore I can’t actually be in two places at once.”

He turned back to stare at the river…

“But wait!,” I finally began again.  “You originally said ‘leaf.’  But leaves don’t skip across the surface of a river; they float.”

He looked at me, but said nothing…

“So you’re telling me not to get too involved, perhaps?  As in float across the surface, rather than sinking down in, to any particular time?”

His return to staring at the river told me I’d gotten it partially right, at least, so I decided to continue playing with the metaphor…

“The leaf has no anchor holding it in place, so it’s entirely dependent upon the currents…”

As we watched, a leaf manifested on the surface of the river, gliding slowly with the current, spinning gently…

“Allowing me to view each moment from a variety of angles as I spin slowly on the surface of time…”

The current picked up, drawing the leaf into a vortex where it whirled in a circular current while still spinning itself…  Faster and faster it spun, while circling around the whirlpool…

“Well… that could be disorienting,” I pointed out, already feeling just a tad bit nauseous watching it.

A long, silent look told me he was not amused…

“Ok, then,” I continued, admitting to myself I was just a tad bit annoyed at his lack of humor today…  “So… being a leaf on the surface of time allows me to revisit a moment over and over again, while also viewing it from multiple angles…”

“(Assuming I can actually view anything through the haze of nausea drowning me…  Or keep track of anything I have viewed, while it’s all spinning out of control!”), I muttered to myself…

Suddenly a gust of wind blew by, as if irritated with me, picking up the leaf and dumping it unceremoniously somewhere else on the river.  That was followed by a cross wind, which snagged a corner of the leaf and lifted it away, leaving it to flutter randomly back to the surface…

I turned to stare at him, standing calmly beside me, unmoved by the wind or the dancing display of the leaf…

“A leaf skipping across the river of time, indeed!  Powered by the winds of change, I presume?”  I must admit I was unable to erase the sarcasm entirely from my tone…

He simply smiled, smug and snug in his version of the truth.

“But how the hell would I keep track of where or when I am?!,” I demanded.  “The movement is completely random and nonsensical!”

He turned to look at me fully, a truly amused smile on his face, and finally spoke once more to me.  “Be light.  Be flexible.  Be free.”

Then clasping his hands lightly behind his back, he sauntered off, walking along the bank of the river whistling a happy tune.  And leaving me behind to experiment, extrapolate and learn…


Which I have been attempting to do these past… ???  days.  And it has proven every bit as nauseating and disorienting as I feared it might be.  Until today…  When it became somewhat disturbing as well.

It began with a dream in which I was travelling with my oldest friend (whom I haven’t actually seen in a while).  We wound up in a situation very similar to those we used to get into as kids (or I did anyway).  And like it often happened in our youth, she went into another room while I stayed to see what trouble I could cause for myself…

My instincts told me to leave; that I had no business being there, that I would be disappointed with myself again (!) if I stayed.  The third party in the room with me was a stranger.  Until he wasn’t anymore, morphing disturbingly into another friend who has shown a propensity of late to repeat destructive patterns of behavior.  I said, “oh hell, no!  I am not doing this again!”

I got up and walked away, heading over to the next room to collect my other friend before leaving…  And simultaneously waking myself up.

I was relieved upon awakening that I had chosen not to fall back into that trap, but still disturbed by how easily I walked into it.  Like nothing had ever changed.  Like I had never changed.  I knew at once that there was something from my past still haunting me, though I could not name it now.  Having completely forgotten it once, I thought it was over…  But the dream warns me it is not…

I put it away, and went to work.  When I came home, I checked in with Facebook to find not one, but three separate messages (from three unconnected individuals) waiting for me, all telling me exactly the same thing: there is something from my past reaching for me, and I need to let go of it immediately; it is “dragging” or “weighing” me down, depending upon the source of the message…

In addition to those was a message from my long time friend in the dream, making and confirming plans to meet tomorrow…  Or today?…  No coincidence there, I think.

So…  the problem with time travel as I see it today, right now, from right here, is that it’s impossible to keep track of where, and when you are.  And it is far too easy to stumble into something you’d thought you left behind, and would prefer not to encounter again.  And being light and flexible and free has only allowed me to touch the surface of this thing; without depth, how do I exorcise it completely?


Tapping my foot impatiently, I wait for him to return to explain these things to me.  Knowing full well, already, that he may not be inclined to do so.  And there is nothing… absolutely nothing… I can do about that today.  I may be strong and stubborn, but I cannot push a river where it does not choose to go.

“The trouble with time travel…” I shout out defiantly…

Then I turn and run for the woods.  I think I may actually be sick this time…




5 thoughts on “The Trouble with Time Travel…

  1. if i would to take that leaf analogy, i’ll fully accept it. Coz in randomness and nonsensical of life seems to keep going, knowing that pure unknown can be known. When one becomes insane, that all non sense comes to place. Time has a purpose in its path, never knowing the time spent flying or slowing down. If u do get this, then i know deep down u came to a psych ward at least once in your life. Honestly for me, its five times now since i was a junior high school. The point is, with time travel. It relates on how one will take the time and spend on, not using it. and yes become a leaf.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So… you’re telling me that life continues in spite of chaos; that we learn whether we realize it or not? And that it is best to focus on staying afloat and not drowning in any particular moment, especially if it’s in the past?

      Yeah… been there, done that, my friend. (Speaking of the psych ward here.)

      I wish you peace and happy moments. Your writings of late have been all over the place. Kinda like my time travelling. Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There is a “huge” difference between you, the Traveler, and the leaf cast off from its branch: you are primarily a mind being, therefore you are the one in control of all of it, like it or not. You do not need to float at the mercy of any current; you do not need to heed the wind’s insistent push this way or that, and certainly, you control the flow of time, slowing down the spin, making it stop if necessary. The trick is to rely less and less on the metaphorical material reality; all analogies or comparisons to the material realms break down in the mind, just as they do in dreams. We, the Travelers, do know how to morph from one situation to another when one is complete or unbearable: we switch reality and readjust. After a while that becomes standard procedure. Dreams or Traveling is where we learn how to live in detachment because we know we are in control, always. Both, what kills you, and what doesn’t, in a dream, makes you stronger. *Personal experience*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sha’Tara!!!

      Just reading you words (for the third or fourth time, lol!) helps me, by reminding me that I AM in control. Somehow I lost that truth in my travels, though it seemed obvious before, and even more obvious now. Perhaps it flew out of my pocket as I spun pointlessly in circles. But I am very glad, and very grateful, to have it returned to me…

      My reality. My choice. My ride to take or not…

      And there he is again, waiting for me, a genuine smile upon his face… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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