The Providence of Escaping Time (Fiction)

Time travel happened all at once- in every single time period and point in this history and every other.

It was discovered simultaneously through realities and what were once described as “time periods” now, more accurately described as “Phases” or “Historical lines” as it was now seen that time was not like a static progression, but rather like an ocean wave made of an oscillating substance that one small breeze, shake, or change from any force could send ripples to monsoons against the fabric of all realities.

In this, people realized immortality.  Old stories about people travelling to the past and back were redefined and reorganized in new contexts;  we had broken the third dimension, and possibly the forth.  We could choose to progress “naturally”, and honestly, most still did- more comfortable in their own niche in the streams and lines along which they flowed like a fish down a stream current.  Others became travelers and connoisseurs of periods and places.  One could decide on France to enjoy the works of Toulouse Lautrec and also appreciate the beauty of modern Paris at once.  Traveling could be taught- for a price much like learning a new skill, but in most places it was costly.

The self-taught often found themselves adrift in barren places- perhaps even dead.

Authors became more famous and artists who were “well traveled” became in demand since the actual ability to “shift” through the currents allowed for no objects, only energy, to transfer the consciousness and re-solidify in each time. (By extension, nudity became universally and unanimously forgiven if not accepted in all but the most puritanical of periods and places.)  Only those who could record what they saw in words or drawings upon return had value in Travel.  They were the women and men who colored in the puzzles of lives with the mental pictures of places in history that showed the motivations behind what used to bewilder.   Ethos, in more ‘Timely’ individuals (once known as ‘Worldly’ in the limits of Old Space Perceptions), tended towards tolerance, wisdom, and escapism to equally maddening degrees to those who lacked the ability, aptitude, or patience to learn the knack of it all.

Just as there have always been and will be people with limitations as well as maestros- so, the ability to travel was not accessible to all:  Much in the same way that not everyone has the ability to excel at a sport or be musically inclined- Or, more bluntly, not everyone could sit in First class, and those in the Physics equivalent of ‘coach class time travel’ seemed blind to the fact that most both did not nor even could aspire to Travel at all.

Refugees from rougher timelines were desperate and guileless- lacking the formal education, finesse, and wherewithall to shift from a sense of mastery; instead, they used desperate methods of study though dangerous psychological exercises to attempt to seek better lives in not only places that were unfamiliar, but times.

Those from Dystopian futures sought rugged frontiers, and those of modest, simple technologies but quick minds found themselves adrift in crystalline cities of indescribable complexities and damning indifference towards their lack of refinement of absence of knowledge on the etiquette of the particular zeitgeist of the moment in which they found themselves trapped.

Some people worked their entire lives for a single Trip.  A select few were born to it and it seemed neither truly understood the other well- the destruction of linear time, sadly, had little effect  humanities ability to stratify itself into classes of those capable, verses those seen as less capable.

For you, one day, life became too difficult, lonesome, and disturbing to continue along the “natural course” (or stream) of what would have once been concrete fate- and it was time to move in order to preserve the self.  There was no other choice for you, really.  Crumbling standards of living and dishonest social structures became too damaging;  the lines of reality for loved ones was blurred of who was truly “present” verses those who were once considered ‘lost’ (comatose, drug addled, personality changed, checked out) but in true reality, living complex lives with the focus entirely on another timestream they cohabited with more vigor.

To travel, in a sense, you stay right where you are.  You remain to everyone else- but “not all there”, so to speak.  So, as you are chatting up the scholars in the library of Alexandria in the time of Cleopatra, yourself in your birth period beginning in nineteen ninety three decided to become addicted to Krokodil at the age of thirty six considering there was no longer enough consciousness present at that historical slipstream to make better decisions.

Sadly, we could not escape our human flaws- but we could better excuse and explain them away with even greater gusto than the time before-  There was now only “before” and “after” relating to temporal travel.  The ribbons of lives in the tapestry of the world was now observable in full, in theory, to most who wished to see it.

It still did not answer nearly enough questions, most people discovered to their dismay.

In this time, your natural time, you find yourself without a family, in a world warming in climate and cooling in sentimentality, where honesty became anathema and friendships deteriorated like sandcastles.  You realized this is only the way it is Here, there are other places.

You realize there is no one left here- you travel.  You travel to your childhood and realize you lived it already, you cannot change it and part of you will always feel the sorrow of the present that forced you to make The Trip.  So you decide that Time was kinder in the future- that your sadness and isolation is temporary- but your horizons are not broad enough to see beyond the possibilities which you can foresee from only your limited vantage point of your Origination point;  you are not a Maestro; you are a refugee fleeing with very little intellectual currency and without direction or plans, scrambling to find a meaningful life among countless nodes in an endless sea.

So you simply Focus your thoughts on what is most important.  Love?  Acceptance?  Spirituality?  Pleasure?

The driving force behind Changes and Travel was the defining passion, the best Travelers were motivated by either curiosity or hunger for knowledge- to them, the worlds were beautiful in their own ways and they never found themselves harmed.

But to those who came from the darker places where hope was dim- oftentimes time was a cruel bitch who tossed them from times of poverty to war; from brutal dictatorships bleeding with power to places of extraordinarily painful and devastating epidemics.  Escaping the dark currents took assistance even with the best of intentions.

You studied alone, and you, somehow, after endless practice Tripped.

And found yourself naked in the snow, ass up, and smarting pulled to your feet by an unsmiling brute wrapped in intricate clothing of furs and a myriad of leathers- it could be primitive to those living in the places of Silent Cities or incredibly chic in any places of Natural Rule.

“Who is this?  From where did you Travel?”  another suspicious and unfriendly voice.

“Let them come forward…come up, child- let me look at you…” the room was dark and smelled of soot, cured meats, leather, drenched in the scent of pinewood.   The room is cold enough to see the breath and you wonder how dark of a time you have found yourself.

This is no shining city- but you have had enough of the sterility of glass and metals- where flora and fauna were decorations to the artificial, both buildings and humans.

There is no climate control- this history has natural weather unlike most where it is either controlled out of necessity to sustain life or for the vanity of the human organism.

“No one travels here.  No one leaves” says the first man, rough in appearance, battle scarred and amputated. The scars were beautifully artistic, as if one carved around each scar to create intentional patterns-to make the ugly, beautiful.

More gently, the second admonished,
“I suppose I am No One then, eh?  Let them come to me- you have all the hospitality of your parents and none of their tact.”
The scarred man bowed mockingly and raised an eyebrow excusing himself as the second, elder cackled:
“As a Reminder, Cousin, We Do Not Bow!”  he laughed.  The aged man before you smiling  tips his large hat you just noticed in the velvety darkness at the unsmiling snarl of a man who exited the tent in disgust.
“Do not feel resentment towards him- he has seen your time and dislikes much of it, I am gathering you have that in common, Ja?”  You can feel the fur of one or more large dogs trailing past your waist in the darkness, fur both stiff and wool-like.  Light from a small hole in the roof reflected off of dark, satiny feathers of birds who called disruptively from the rafters.
“So then…, what did you wish for when you clicked your heels three times to Travel the Realms?   What do you bring us to convince me to allow you to remain and not ship you to the places of Inquisitions or perhaps Nuclear Wars?  Do you know how to hunt?  Are you an Artist?  Good with children, songs, or preparing meals?  Can you plow the fields or nurse sick cattle?  ”

You feel utterly stupid, unprepared, and defeated.

“However,  I believe I have a solution only if you tell me, exactly, why it is you came here.”

You have already searched your surroundings thoroughly, you are not entirely ignorant,   You are in no heaven, but it is not a place of fires either.  Everyone is very much alive, breathing, bleeding, coughing, and capable of tears as the place you left.  At least you are alive.

So, with nothing to lose you just tell the truth.  All of it,
“All I desired was a place to call Home where I could be of use, where I could find acceptance and community.  I just wanted to find a place where I could earn my way into being useful enough to be above rejections and heartaches over the superficiality of the culture I was raised that hates me.
I wanted a family and I traveled enough to know no one alive or dead in my stream of time or bloodline thought, truly, that I was anything other than a mistake or a burden from the moment I was conceived- I did not choose a place, I expressed a yearning and arrived here.  Cold, naked, and woefully inept.”  and you know you are pathetic, naked, starving, and likely sound a combination of pathetic and insane.

Under the brim you see a kindly old eye wrinkle in mirth…

“Aye…it is like that most places for most, even I.  I do not fault you- all things considered, there is acceptance to be found here with work.”

“I am open to being taught anything you need- where I am from…” …you wince as you recall,  ” …It, um… it does not seem like the river ‘continues’ anywhere I can make anything of myself, if you know what I mean.”

“You already are ‘Yourself’- but I won’t argue over trivialities right this moment.  I have seen every world there is to see- I have been welcomed some places every day of the year in every home- and in others shunned except for a single, freezing day around solstice for whatever holiday exists right then and there.  I have been both adored and despised, I have been treated to the tables of leaders and scrambled for scraps like dogs.  Your place…is not the kindest, no.  But you can live here, you can have everything you are looking for if…” he trailed off.

“…if…” you repeated tiredly,  all that effort to make the Journey, you are no true Traveler... you think.

“You go back to every time you have traveled and become wise for how this newest moment in evolution came to pass.  Space. Time. Reality, the subjectivity and the reality of the perceptions…  This world needs well-traveled ones of wisdom and experience.  Foresight.  Insight. Hindsight. You already have such a great reach to come here and find this place, to find me- I spend so little time so condensed into materiality, it is quite marvelous to meet others who have seen some of what I have tried to explain here.  I can only imagine what it must be to explain what you see here to a time with no hope…  perhaps..” he smiled broadly,  “You could find missing Things from different Times and bring them here- you can warm the hearts of the Cynics both intrinsic and literal cynics who live in all times.”

Outside, you hear the first man you met audibly scoff.

“I do not know how to do that, if I did- I would not have left to find myself here to escape”

“You did not ‘find yourself here’…I allowed you to find us-  all times lean on all other times, and in the spaces in between the wanderers find their only rest. No one can take away the talents you worked to cultivate nor the wisdom you accumulate.  Only you can lose it by allowing it to pass through you without writing it down.  Go back to where you were, but remember Here is your true home.

You already know the secrets of immortality:  Time, Recollection, and Remembrance. What prevents you from admitting you are also a God?”

It was then your realized what you had known of the Gods was true, real, and also incredibly myopic.

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One Response to “The Providence of Escaping Time (Fiction)”

  1. Thank you, Ren. 🙂

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