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The biggest gift my parents ever gave me was the gift of reading. From a tender age, I consumed books faster than food itself. Given the choice between a TV program and a book, I would usually choose the latter.
At age 6, they enrolled me in the local library as a way to keep me occupied during the summer holidays. It was a beautiful building, 20 minutes from our home in the local bus. To my childhood imagination, it was The Best Place In The Whole Wide World™.
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This library introduced me to “The Great Illustrated Classics”, which was a series of books offering easy-to-read adaptations of well known classics, featuring large print and illustrations on every other page. I read all these books in the library more than twice over.
Of these, the story that had the longest lasting impact on me, was “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. A story about a man known just as “The Time Traveler”; it blew my young mind away by introducing me to the possibility of time travel. Since then, stories about time and how it works have been at the center of all I consume.
Ever since I turned 30, I have found myself getting enveloped by a sense of affection for the distant past. For the first time in my life, I have data points about my own existence that stretch back multiple decades. I see patterns of behavior, of action, and of relationships. I see the cycles that our world has gone through - the hype that follows the introduction of Something New™, the slow adjustment of society with That New Thing™, and the eventual dissatisfaction at how That Thing Which Was Once New Is Not Enough Anymore™.
In short, due to ongoing disruptions in my life, I have become super nostalgic for the sense of order that the past represents. As foolish as it sounds, it would be awesome to find a time machine to take me there.
On that note, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered Aaron’s newsletter “TimeMachiner”, where he finds a way to express his sense of nostalgia differently. He resurfaces articles about technology from the past, like the SNES and the Apple Newton. It also feels like he’s collecting snippets of today’s technology that we will look back at in the future. I connected with him and struck up a conversation, and found him to be a delightful human being. He enjoys sharing with his readers stuff that they wouldn’t find easily on their own. In his own words, he likes sharing stories for the forever-curious that are great conversation starters. If that’s something that sounds like your jam, please subscribe now to TimeMachiner!
All these thoughts about time machines led me to two time travel related poems that I’ve written. So those are what I am sharing with you today, dear reader.
Alright, poems start in 3… 2… 1!
Poem 1: Eighteen
I found a way to talk to me, from when I was eighteen. The person I was in my past, the person I had been. We had just thirty seconds, then the portal would collapse. So none of us had time to talk of "maybe" or "perhaps". I looked at him, he looked at me, not quite sure what to say. I think he wanted me to tell him, life would be okay. So here is what I told him: "After dark there's always light. And after light it will get dark. And after wrong there's right. This pattern and this cycle, that's the way that life will go. Don't let it get you down, or get it up your head, you know? Fight for all you think is right. Don't pursue silly goals. And love the people in your life with all your heart and soul. I think that's all I have for you. I'm glad we had this call." He looked at me and said "Oh, man, that did not help at all!" 🙃 🙃
Poem 2: Forty
I found a way to talk to me from when I'll be forty. The person I'll become somehow. The guy who will be me. We had just thirty seconds then the portal would collapse So there was really just no time for "maybe" or "perhaps". I said, "Oh hey, what's up, you look so sharp and smart and cool. You're who I hope I will become - driven, thoughtful, fueled. I hope you are a curious man. A man still full of dreams. A man for whom success means much much more than means to me. A man whose life is like the sea whose world an oyster too. A man who's sitting at the peak of heights I look up to. I hope you are of pinkest health, your loved ones by your side. I hope that they are close to you, no secrets left to hide. As long as all the things I said are things you don't forget. I promise you there won't be much that I'll make you regret. That's all our time and now it's done, I'll keep you in my thoughts." Embarrassed, with a smile he said, "That boy. He seemed so lost." 🙃🙃
That’s it! Thanks for reading Hello Universe this week. This was edition no. 69.
I have always enjoyed how Hello Universe gives me an ability to share and process my thoughts and feelings. I hope that these poems end up meaning something to you too! 🤗
Alright, it’s been a long writing session today, see you next week with Some Fun Stuff!