A Time TravelerSunday, June 28, 2009
In July 2007 Rebecca Stewart, my granddaughter stood by the big red door of the Gothic revival structure that was the main building of my St. Ed’s High School. A few weeks ago during an electrical storm I moved one of the benches there and placed it right next to where Rebecca had stood. I watched the storm and heard the thunder while gazing north at the Austin skyline, the view that you can see here in back of Rebecca. A lighting bolt hit beyond the soccer field and it sparked down a tree. My company was a little white frog.
As I watched the little frog wait for stray bugs I thought of the complex mechanism of time. I could imagine the taxi that may have brought me from the Greyhound bus station on my return on a Sunday night from my Christmas vacation at home in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila. Even by grade 12 I still missed my home and my mother on that night. The lugubrious and dark Gothic structure had not helped dispell my depression. But the sound of the loud morning bell in the morning; it shook us into instant alertness, never gave me time to think back and my melancholy would fade as we prepared for our breakfast and our first class of the day.
As I rested my head against the big red door I thought of Rebecca and how I had had no inkling of her existence in the future as I had come up the stairs with my suitcase on route to my dorm. Yet I had photographed her by that door 46 years later and I could feel her presence as strongly as I had that taxi. Rosemary had also been with me that July in 2007 and that felt as unlikely. And here I was sitting on the bench leaning my head on the big red door missing them both.
It would seem that time appears to be linear and irreversible when we are young and our future is before us. From my vantage point on that bench with my frog companion, in the time and space of that evening, time was flowing back and forth and perhaps even sideways. I was a time traveler.