Visual Story Network

I am not particularly philosophical. I remember my mind being bent by St. Augustine's treatise on time in his "Confessions." 

Our sense of time makes us unique under the heavens.  Traveling outside of fixed time has been a great story device in print and on the screen. It is built into our DNA to want to explore beyond the world of our immediate reach. This desire has its roots in the cultural mandate of Genesis 1 ("be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it").

In the last year I have been cultivating my personal time-travel skills with great benefit.

Here are the five ways I have benefited from time travel…

1. When I return, I am much more alive to the present moment.  (which reminds me to recommend the short book, "The Sacrament of the Present Moment.)

2. I am more grateful for the extraordinary gift of time that God gives me.

3. I am inspired to slow down the pace of my sometimes over-scheduled life.

4. Somehow I feel the "weight of glory" a bit more.

---- So here is my secret recipe for time travel ----

1. Choose your direction.  You will either go forward or backwards. It is much easier to go back in time because we have a much richer source of reference points stored in our brains.

2. Quiet your mind. Give yourself a 2-3 minute time frame as a minimum.

3. Take trips into the recent past. Travel back a day, a week, or a month. These are easier to access.

4. Choose a particular point in time. Example: Last Sunday afternoon church.

5. Grab a specific referent of that time.  Example: Waiting in the Taco Bell drive-through for the $10 twelve-pack.

6. Keep pulling the rope and follow the sequence of memories that are linked together. See if you can grab 3-4 linked memories from that time.

7. Recall the physical space, lighting, people and your principal mood.  Example: The dark-haired cashier had a nice smile, there was a high sun, the girls were quiet in the back of the car, and I was looking forward to napping after my tacos.

Major cheat.  It is very helpful to have an artifact specific to the time frame in mind.  A sermon note outline, ticket stub, photograph, or my personal favorite…a note in the calendar. In my phone calendar I enter how I spent blocks of time. The key is to capture one handle that pulls me back into that time frame.

You can also travel forward in time.   This is a bit different because I try to envision a scenario and what the people will look like at a given time in the future. I might imagine my 12-year-old daughter graduating from high school surrounded by my family.

Here is a related article on The Power of Remembering.

Bon voyage.


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I think about these kinds of things all the time... :)

Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one!

I love it!  My husband always ask me how I remember all the little details about an event that happened 10 or 20 or more years ago.  This will be a great tool to use in writing my book.  I'm not so sure the future travel will be as easy for me.  But, I will give it a try and see what I come up with.  I never thought of it as Time Travel but I guess it is, in a way!  I look forward to hearing more from you!  Blessings!

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