This week’s topic:
If you could travel to any period of time for research purposes (or shear enjoyment) what time period would you travel to?
Oh, no…the dreaded time travel question; it comes up in many interviews or Q and A sessions.
Maybe it is precisely because I like history, read history and am married to a man with a history degree that the very idea of traveling, even temporarily, to another time scares the bejeesus out of me.
What if I got stuck there/then?
I am not a coward, but I am a weakling. I would not survive in past times; shoot, there are places I would not dare travel to in the world TODAY because of that very reason.
And I often have pretty bad luck.
Let’s say I could not actually be present, yet see it all firsthand in some manner. Maybe I could be an Immortal, (“Duncana McLeod”), or go back as a hologram, (as in the admiral in “Quantum Leap”) or for you “Game of Thrones” watchers, as a Three-eyed Raven.
All that aside, it would a rather watered-down the idea of ‘being’ in another time, wouldn’t it ?
Well, let’s say that I risk it. I had better have something like a “Way-Back Machine”, ala Mr. Peabody, so that I could understand the languages and so that others could understand me.
I’d go to back to see the Great Library at Alexandria, before the fire. (Oh, please, not during the fire!)
We could move up a bit to Greece and experience Plato and Socrates, (well, we know what happened there).
I’d like to see Italy during the Renaissance, but only for a short time. (Even after the Black Death, you had cholera in Venice, and then there was the Turks to worry about.)
I’d love to experience the culture of learning, (the center of all learning), that was gathered in the monasteries in Ireland, but unless I went in disguise as a man I’d be out of luck, (and then, here come the Vikings! )
Any other time, and even among those above, to see great achievements meant also experiencing great squalor and wars: the height of Rome, Egypt, China, Japan, even the Middle Ages with their seats of learning, grand palaces and incredible cathedrals all experienced daily horrors. The places might be worth seeing, but you’d also see a lot of terrible things, as well.
I don’t want to experience ay time and place where there was open slavery; nothing romantic about it at all.
I’d like go back and see what life was really like among the Eastern Woodland American Indian tribes, (my luck, I’d pop right into some war over hunting grounds). I would like to see Machu Picchu in its prime, (but then again, it may have been smallpox that wiped them out and my vaccination never ‘took’). I would like to see how the Cliff Dweller dwelt, but only a glance; something bad also happened with those people.
I’d like to see the minds and hearts at work at the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, (but since I read “Founding Mothers”, I would not want to be at the mercy of the British in those days in any way).
The more I think of it, the more I realize that I’d need restraints on my interactions with folks in the past. I don’t think that I could be trusted not to meddle with the timeline or happenings in one way or another. Cause and effect of changing one person’s life or one event in centuries past and you never know what ripple effect it may have, far and wide. I might well cause the effect of not getting my ancestors moved around, or together, (ergo, no me).
So, you see, go back to another time? That’s OK, thanks anyway. I’m good, here with my plumbing, my central heating, my refrigeration,( and other safe food preservation methods), antibiotics and other medications/surgery/ healthcare. (Nothing intriguing about spoiled food and dying of ‘fevers’ or septic wounds.)
I might not have all the facts in reading about history, but it’s a safer bet than time travel.