I’m going to confess immediately to being a big fan of Dr Who. I’m very open to being entertained by anything childish, and the Doctor certainly does that for me. I had a conversation with my housemate a few days ago, one of those late night small talk type exchanges in which you chew over hypothetical questions. He asked me where in time I would go if I could climb into the Tardis and be whisked away.
Where in history?
I started by thinking about history generally, by time period. I thought it would be pretty cool to go to Medieval times. I studied Middle English when I was an undergraduate and everything about that time fascinated me. Particularly as most of the history that’s written is from a very elite perspective. I would like to find out what it was really like for the silent majority.
Where in my past?
Medieval time was the easy answer of course. What sprang to mind immediately was the thought of going backwards in my own timeline. How would it have impacted me if I could have changed or erased a part of my own story? I thought of important moments, the ones that stick with me even though I don’t want them to. And I thought of the butterfly effect; if I erased one of those, would I have had the same timeline to follow? If wiping out something horrible would, for instance, mean I never got to meet my wife, I wouldn’t even consider it.
But it did get me to wondering where I would be right now and how my life would have differed had I not been abused as a child. I guess that will be another blog post for when I have more time…
What about the future?
It never crossed my mind that I might want to travel into the future. Maybe that’s because the default position of a depressed person is to dwell on the past. I usually can’t manage thinking beyond the end of today, or sometimes the end of each hour, so years ahead is mind-blowing. I am scared of all that time stretching out. It feels like a long time to wait to die. I guess I have to keep reminding myself that there is a lot of good stuff that might fill the gap.
I’d love your thoughts on this. Where would you go? And why?
Photo: Joel Penner, Creative Commons.