Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine

Am I unusual in that I have no desire to go back in time nor go forward. I am perfectly happy where I currently am. Why would I want to go back? I wouldn’t have to go that far back to lose the advantages of the current time. I have lived without electricity and I know I do not want to return to a time without it. Many of the luxuries that electricity allows us to have I can happily live without. I did find it very difficult to live without being able to read of an evening. I tried. Candle light and the dim lighting we managed to get from our solar panels was not enough to read by without placing the eyes under a great deal of strain.
I’ve worked without modern tools such as bull dozers and chain saws and it is tough, back-breaking work chopping down a tree with an axe, digging foundations with a crowbar and shovel and debarking the tree trunks. I had the luxury of stopping when my hands became blistered. People in days gone by did not have this luxury, they had no choice but to continue on.
Although I am casual in my dress I do like to wash my clothing after wearing it for only one day. I can’t imagine how the rich women of bygone eras could put on gowns that had never been washed, wearing powder and dousing themselves in perfume to overcome their own smell. Perhaps the poorer women could wash more often as their gowns were not made of the rich brocades and the like which possibly made them washable. Did the poor have water though in which to wash? Personal bathing was certainly not performed everyday. Would I want to go back to that?
I certainly don’t want to go forward in time. The world in which I could find myself is most likely one where I doubt that I would know how to function. I struggle enough in this one. I just work out how to do something on my phone and then a new upgrade is available. I am returned to the battle of trying to work out how to do that which I had just conquered. It gives me a headache.  No, I definitely don’t want to go forward.
Perhaps if I were to go back I would return to 1986. This and the next few years were great ones for me. I was in my thirties, looking the best I was ever going to look, enjoying life and not trying to impress anyone or please or anyone. I was being totally myself. There were no major world events happening that made me feel like getting on my soap box and joining in protest marches. Certainly there were things happening like the cold war and the Iran Contra Affair and the space shuttle disintegrating on take off that I paid attention to but they were not sufficient to destroy the peace and harmony of the life I was living.
If I were to go back however, would it be like returning to a place you had loved many years prior and discovering that it wasn’t as your memory portrayed it. The disappointment you felt from this visit taking precedence over those pleasant memories you had of the past. Instead of going back in the time machine perhaps I will just go back in time inside my head.



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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27 Responses to Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine

  1. pixiejan says:

    My thoughts exactly and how beautifully presented, thank you Irene


  2. M-R says:

    Right on ! – you speak for me.


  3. When we try to live without water and electricity, we learn to appreciate, when we are able to have those two so important things in our world. I would not like to go back either, except I was able to change the past and take another direction.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  4. colinmathers says:

    Thought-provoking. I often think I am living at the best possible time – globalization of cultures (east and west meeting), beginnings of understanding how the universe and us evolved and function, invention of the internet (without which none of this blogging would be happening). But maybe most people (at least those who don’t suffer catastrophes) think they are living at the best time since they are always at the happening edge of history and evolution. I guess if you were living in Europe in World War II or Cambodia in Pol Pot era, you may not think so.


    • Yes I think that your view of the world is certainly shaped by where you sit in it. There are many places I definitely am glad I don’t live and my heart goes out to those people displaced by the wars and catastrophes that are happening. But I heard e.g. that maternal and childhood mortality has been eased with the use of mobile phones as the remote women are always able to be helped immediately and instructions etc are sent to them. You’ll probably know what I am talking about.


  5. fictionfitz says:

    I want to go back in time, keeping current dog, cat and wife, and picking up the rest now gone. I want to go back in time but keep my iPhone, MacBook, and iPad. Oh yes, and I want what is in my current brain including memories. I want the youth with all the rest. I want to live forever in good health, no war or sickness, no poverty for anyone.


    • Bob, That sounds just perfect. It doesn’t sound like you need to go back in time you just need a youth pill (also taken by your wife and dog). I don’t know how we can deal with the no war,sickness or poverty issue. You need a time stand still machine like Ground Hog Day.


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  7. Ted Luoma says:

    I don’t want to go anywhere that will require physical labor. I’m too delicate.


  8. Jenni says:

    Excellent attitude. Have to admit I totally agree about going forward in time – considering how hard I find working the various things on my phone I am sure I would be useless if suddenly plunked into the future. Memories are always better than reality so going back in time in your head is a much better idea than actually ‘going’. Thanks for your thoughts. Jenni


  9. Sherri says:

    Very well written post Irene and I agree totally. Going back for the purposes of writing about past events is so different to actually ‘going back’ physically. We can so easily look back with rose-tinted spectacles. But going back to a place that was once part of our life can be very painful indeed as it is never quite the same and never will be. Better to hold on to our memories 🙂


  10. litadoolan says:

    I share that same feeling of rich ladies of our past history wearing unwashed (but luxurious) gowns. No wonder they had large bottles of perfumes in that era! I love the ending to your post, I was nodding in agreement after reading. Imagination is far better option than embracing disappointment!


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