Well, Time Travel Awareness Month has come to an end. But what did we learn?
For starters, I learned that for as much as I think about time travel, its pitfalls, and its possibilities, there are quite a few of you out there who are thinking about it just as much. Fans of Back to the Future, fans of Doctor Who, fans of Star Trek orJourneyman - we’re all drawn to this idea that we can revisit the past, or avoid the slow path and see the future. But why?
If you look back at some of the time travel fiction we’ve talked about this month, almost none of it revolves around personal gain. So many of these stories have themes of altruism (Quantum Leap), or personal improvement (Groundhog Day), or unavoidable consequences (Lost). If time travel is a means to an end, that end is almost always for the greater good. But even in stories about the fatalism of time travel, where what happens happens, there is still good that comes from the journey: insight.
And maybe that is the appeal that time travel offers. The closest any of us mere mortals ever come to time travel is when we reflect on our memories, or hypothesize about our futures. We want to know that our plans for the future will come true. We want to relive our happiest day in all its glory. We wonder how our saddest days could have been avoided. We struggle every day to understand our lives, and the consequences of our actions. We crave insight. But insight, like our lives, is only available in one speed: from moment to moment.
Happy Time Travel Awareness Month.