Here’s a modified text of the latest video, just in case you prefer to read.
Do you have a time machine? I’ll bet you have a lot of them. One of mine is the engine from the vintage 1951 Lionel train my parents got me when I was around a year and a half old. Of course, it wasn’t vintage when they gave it to me. It was brand new. It still works, and I set it up every year at Christmas. It always reminds me of setting up the train and the tree with my father. One sniff of the engine oil does the trick. Years ago that aroma sailed up my nose and lodged in my brain right beside Necco Wafers and Vicks Vapo Rub.
Understand, this is a personal time machine just for me. It wouldn’t work for you, but don’t worry. If you have a saver in the family, you have your own. A time machine is any personal item that has story energy attached to it. Connect with your time machines in order to connect with your memories and, in turn, your stories. Whether it’s working with me to collect your stories and photographs in your private printing, or a project of your own. Time machines work.
Another of my time machines is from a few years later. My 35 mm Nikon F camera takes me back to 1970 in Japanwhere I bought it. I don’t remember the city, whether it was Saseboor Yokosuka, but I remember the store. I was watching a clerk as I was browsing. A customer walked up to the counter and the clerk smiled and said “Hi.” When it was my turn, I learned that he was saying hai, which means yes in Japanese. I didn’t speak Japanese and he didn’t speak English, but somehow I managed to buy the camera, one of the better results of my years in the Navy.
Sounds are good memory triggers, too. That camera has a mechanical shutter that makes a healthy ker-chunk when I shoot. Compared to my iPhone, the wimpy noise of its dinky digital “shutter” sounds like someone stepping on a cricket.
Speaking of cameras, here’s a surprise: photographs don’t always work as time machines. Often they’re attached only to the event they commemorate and nothing else. Black-and-white snapshots are something else that remind me of my father. When he looked at one, the first thing he did was turn it over, look at the back, and most times grumble “No date.” He was big on knowing who was who and when.
So connect with your time machines. Look at them. Hold them. Listen to them. Smell them if you want to. And then relax and see where they take you.
View the video here at the website.