Inspiration, loss, Travels

The Perks of Being a Time Traveler.

August 22, 2012

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-blackBy Jen Pastiloff.

You wouldn’t forget things.

You wouldn’t lose things. Or people. That in itself is enough for most people. Never having the gut wrenching realization when you wake up in the morning, that Oh My God he is dead. Having been blessed with a certain forgetting in your sleep. Never knowing what that remembering feels like, that feeling of a limb gone suddenly missing, without warning. Never forgetting a book that you stayed up 3 nights in a row like a  lover only to realize 6 months later you don’t remember a single detail of those nights.

You would have an escape when all you wanted to do was close your eyes and slip into time and be part of the fabric of its wings. It would be like you finally knew what it meant to get somewhere.

My own time travel machine is a subtle bubble, fragile as a bird. When you climb inside it takes you back to before you were born even, back to when you were just a thought that hadn’t been thought yet.

It takes you back to moments of your life like the summer you spent in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania for a poetry fellowship at Bucknell University where you read poems in a beautiful old church and ran naked through a football field at night with a bunch of other young “fellows”. Back to when you ran through cemeteries that summer, and green green grass. It was July and humid and greener than you’d ever known green to be, and you ran because that was all you could do. It takes you back to these moments that when you were in them the first time, you thought you were unhappy, but upon revisiting them again in your time machine you realize that you could have never been unhappy running through green like that. How could you have been?

Unhappiness was invented along with the time machine and it is a matter of belief when it comes to being able to enter either.

Upon revisiting moments in your time machine you will realize that it was always better than it seemed, that you were never fat and that you could write your ass off. This is a perk of being a time traveler.

When you close the door to the hatch and tell it to go back to 1983, you can see your father carving sticks in the backyard at a wooden picnic table. The plastic on the chairs in the kitchen and how they stick to people’s thighs in the summer and you can take back all the things you ever said. You can un-say them. That is another perk of being a time traveler.

For example, if the last thing you ever said to your father was “I hate you” before he died, well, you can undo that. You just set the dial back a little farther and then get out and plant your feet firm on the brown carpet, your hands on either side of the doorjamb and remain silent. Or say I love you. Really, the choice is yours. Another huge perk of time travel.

You can go back to before you found out your baby was dying and either decide to not have a baby at all or to just go back to when he wasn’t so sick. To stay in the moment when he had a light in his eyes and could still move his body. Maybe you’d just stay there. You could, you know, with your time travel machine.

Any event that occurs in the universe has to involve both space and time. Gravity doesn’t just pull on space; it also pulls on time.

When we time travel we actually bend gravity so we become light sinewy things that don’t know what it means to be held down, that fly through space and back into the arms of people we thought we’d lost and grandparents we never even met. We can bend and alter and climb the walls of time, which is a huge perk of time travel.

There’s also things to take into consideration, like getting stuck in a moment of time. Say you go back to that May in 1982 and decide you want to stay. Fine. You have that choice. You do. But remember, when you go back, you are also still here. Your body is still sitting on the train reading a book, is still doing a backbend, is still having dinner with your husband. Only part of you will be missing. Part of you will be stuck in 1982 eating pizza with your father as you drink wine with your husband. Your eyes will reflect this missingness. There will be an emptiness behind your eyes that over time will turn into a deadening. Although you have mastered time travel you cannot master being in two places at once. So really you must decide if the perks are great enough.

How badly you want to be there. How badly you want to be here.

Join Jen at a writing retreat in Mexico this May!  Jennifer Pastiloff is part of the faculty in 2015 at Other Voices Querétaro in Mexico with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. Please email Gina Frangello to be accepted at Click poster for info or to book. Space is very limited.

Join Jen at a writing retreat in Mexico this May!
Jennifer Pastiloff is part of the faculty in 2015 at Other Voices Querétaro in Mexico with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp, Stacy Berlein, and Rob Roberge. Please email Gina Frangello to be accepted at Click poster for info or to book. Space is very limited.


Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!

Join Jen Pastiloff in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the sunflowers!


All of Jen Pastiloff’s events listed here.


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No Comments

  • Reply Eve August 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    That is so beautifully written and touches me so deeply … thank you very, very much!

  • Reply Jennifer Woods August 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Jen, I’ve enjoyed all your writing, since I started reading back in December, and they’ve always touched me. Lately, it seems, you have completely surpassed yourself. Writing this book seems to have really electrified your writing skills. I am stunned again with your storytelling, and your message. You could not force me to not buy your book when it comes out. Well, you could, if you had a gun, but I would just sneak around you and buy it anyway.

  • Reply naturegirltara August 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    You are such a brilliant poet–such a deep thinker and I can relate to everything you’ve said. Thank you for saying it!!!

  • Reply barbarapotter August 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Love all the deep thoughts. Hah, and I also love finding out things my daughter did back in the day like running naked with the other “fellows” in your group. Thought climbing up on the sign at the Cherry Hill Mall to change the letters was daring. Haha, still can’t believe all of you did not end up in jail for that one:)

  • Reply Maitri Asinovski August 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    beautifully, beautifully, beautifully written!

    Thanks for the imagination meal : )

    I feel nourished.

  • Reply James Vincent Knowles August 24, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Ah, what a trip~! What a wonderful, wonderful romp through your mind, through a wonderful, loving, always-be-kind-being’s mind. Soooooo goooooood, I can smell the clover in the grass & feel the hot-humid heat, hear the laughter & taste the pizza & delicious red wine & feel your heart beat as you take us back in time. But it’s how amazingly you bring us through so many years of your story, this life in your time machine, to right back here in present time. It’s an E-ticket ride, on Jen’s life-time line. Dig it. Dig it, big time.

  • Reply TF700 Price August 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Red Pill or the Blue Pill, Does it matter if you have a time a machine where you are?
    You just simply think it and go, well at least that is how my time machine works (after the upgrade and everything) 🙂
    Thanks for sharing and congrats on the FP =)

  • Reply MANDEE August 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm


  • Reply mickcirceo August 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    “Missingness” — very nice.

  • Reply Richard McCargar August 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    If only. The last conversation I had at age sixteen with my then thirty-nine year old father was an argument. He went off to the golf-course for the day, to die, and I worked our small-town grocery store.

    Many time, I have boarded my own time-travel machine, to make amends for our parting way. At fifty-four, I’m now his senior, and have lived the life he only dreamed of. I’ve traveled the world several dozen times, built small and large companies, hang-glided, parachuted and white water rafted…but most of all, I’ve enjoyed watching my children grow into adults, and now live for the visits from them and my grandchildren.

    I once had a woman tell me I say the world “love” too often, that the act cheapens it. There had been explanations that I wouldn’t let another die without knowing, yet she persisted. She is no longer a part of my life.

    My family and friends know they are loved.

  • Reply 1 Story A Week August 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Wow! Just brilliant!

  • Reply keiththegreen August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Great piece, until my budget and the licensing requirements are finalized, I’ll have to plod along the time line. This entails thinking before saying something, I developed an allergy to foot in mouth, even ketchup didn’t help. So please keep us informed as to when said device will be available for the average consumer.

  • Reply Travis Normand August 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Great post!

  • Reply MJ Conner August 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It really made me think…

  • Reply Katherine August 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Such an interesting thought!!

  • Reply Humans Are Weird August 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    This was beautiful.

    Namaste. And now-mus-go to time-travel.

  • Reply Norman Cooper August 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Norman Cooper and commented:
    You cannot be in the present and prepare for the future if you are living in the past. Our minds, our time machines, can become a snare that traps us and keeps us from truly living our lives and helping others. Please read this blog post. I hope you enjoy and appreciates what the author is saying in this piece.

  • Reply edgeledge August 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Going back, could we take those opportunities that hindsight says we missed? Could we right all our wrongs and make other wrongs? Not sure if I want to, but the idea does fascinate me…Thanks for a lovely, well written piece.

  • Reply tricia linden August 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    We travel through time in hopes of finding ourselves, until we realize there is only now. And if you can enjoy NOW, you can enjoy always. I’m also a time traveler, but Home is here and now. May you enjoy always. T

  • Reply 5iveplus1senses August 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Very powerful. =) Thank you

  • Reply cartoonmick August 29, 2012 at 12:30 am

    An interesting perspective. I’m going to have to think about it for a while, and make sure I get my head around it in the right way.
    Regardless, a nice post.

  • Reply Hilary August 29, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Thx that was beautiful piece to read ad take away

  • Reply filmcamera999 August 29, 2012 at 1:35 am! i dont know what to call it….is it synchronicity? is it coincidence? is it deja-vous? ive been talking about these subjects on my blog recently…and a lot of things have happened one after another during that time…things that seem interlinked….! what a great post this is tho…but alas…if only it were so….alas….

  • Reply Rizzy-Li August 29, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Well I just throw away my time machine…are you happy now ? 😉 Jk , nicely written

  • Reply Mijanur August 29, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Mind blowing post! After read it a great feeling in my heart. Thanks.

  • Reply thelyniezian August 29, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Well- time travel would not mean going back to a previous state of your existence and reliving the same moment. Or at least not time travel as I envisage it, which involves actual physical travel into the past. The best you could do is go back as you are, and influence your past self- if you can. you can live again in that moment of time, but not as you were.

    And then, is the other you really you? Or just another alternate version of you? Would the other you really have the motivation to go back when time catches up with her? And then you are stuck with two copies of you…

    Still, it would be interesting to explore the possibilities…

  • Reply thepwrserg August 29, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Reblogged this on thepwrserg.

  • Reply Lloyd Lofthouse August 29, 2012 at 8:01 am

    “Upon revisiting moments in your time machine you will realize that it was always better than it seemed, that you were never fat and that you could write your ass off. This is a perk of being a time traveler.” — one of my favorite quotes from your post.

    So true. Couldn’t help but smile. Too bad I cannot time travel in 4D–except in my dreams but that time travel often slips into a possible future, which may prove that time travel is a two way street, into the future or into the past.

    I have always been fascinated with time travel books/movies and I’m reading one now (and I did not write it) that is based on an interesting premise.

  • Reply charon4a August 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

    The perennial “If only..” wouldn’t happen with time travel, you could undo the wrongs and the mistakes in your life. I have spent several months now stuck on that perennial question “If only..” but the real dilemma is which life changing event to undo because they are mutually exclusive. Can you have your cake and eat it with a time machine?

  • Reply beeezblogg August 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

    This is simply awesome!

  • Reply tmpadmin August 29, 2012 at 10:04 am


  • Reply nga101 August 29, 2012 at 10:07 am

    really enjoyed reading this. it was lovely. liked the swift twist in the ending and the questions.

  • Reply pratique21 August 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Brilliant ! Loved it. 🙂

  • Reply hiddenblessing August 29, 2012 at 11:09 am

    What a gorgeous piece of writing!

  • Reply innamazing August 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Wonderful! Coincidentally I have a post titled “The Perks of Being a Famous Blogger” I think you would be able to relate to it now, hahah congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  • Reply GP August 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Reblogged this on misentopop.

  • Reply Jennifer August 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Beautifully written and so moving. Thank you.

  • Reply A Londoner from Afar August 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Nicely written entry. 🙂

  • Reply roctom August 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Loved it 🙂 thank you!

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