In an interview given by Neil DeGrasse Tyson some time ago, he presented a possible way to travel back in time. If one was to travel to a planet very, very far away, through a wormhole so as to reach there before light that reflected off of you as you left reached, and take a telescope with super resolution that could look at the Earth, then they would record light reaching them that was reflected off of the Earth before they left. Simply put, they would be looking at images from a time before they left. Depending on how far you end up going, the farther back in time you could possibly see. So, one could potentially go far back enough to look at the dinosaurs (and settle once and for all if the T-Rex was colourful and feathery or not), or to even look at the first moments of the Earth’s formation!
That kind of time travel however, is not what I mean to talk about here. I’m writing this post to talk about a more personal mode of temporal travel; one through memories. Also, I hate it when writers use actual scientific terms in personal writings as this one, misconstruing it to fit their narrative, and completely diluting its real meaning till all that’s left of it is just a confusing goo of alphabets being thrown around (looking at you, Deepak Chopra, Ծ_Ծ), so I’m gonna try avoiding that.
So, right now I’m home for a week-long mid-semester break from college, and I couldn’t help but notice that after the first two or three days, once the dust settles, I started feeling really sad and empty, even though I am at home; and this isn’t the first time it’s happening. It happens every time, routinely. The first few days – when I see my family after a long time, when I meet my adorable dog, Neo – are full of joy. I’m treated to home-made food of my choosing, and mom cooks up whatever I may whimsically decide, no matter how tired she feels after work. I meet up with old friends and teachers that stood with me throughout. And then the sadness kicks in. Some of it can be blamed on boredom, because there just isn’t enough to do at home (to be honest, its more because I’m too lazy to actually do anything), but then I realised that there is another reason too.
After my gap year – a year riddled with depression and loneliness – ended, I spent very little time at home before leaving for college. Apart from the memory of getting my actual result and acceptance letter from my college, or maybe the one month after the release of Pokemon GO, I never got the time to make a lot of good memories at home. In my mind, the memories that are associated to being at home are still those of sitting up late at night, working my ass off, struggling to keep up with the excellently motivated and productive people that surrounded me, listening to the radio because I did not have friends just to have someone talking and gossiping to listen to. The memory of going to class like a donkey every morning, to that depressing place where nobody but one person really knew how to teach. The memory of my stupendously messy break-up. These are the memories that are classified as the freshest memories of home in my mind.
Every time that I travel to home therefore, and get time to think, these are the things I naturally gravitate towards because of the environment that I find myself in. Every time that I travel in space, I travel in time.