I finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger late last night. What a marvelous book. Some of the scenes from the book are still floating through my mind. I am beginning to read and write poetry again. In many ways the novel is a very long poem, scene by scene illustrating the metaphor of memory.
Lately, my life has resonated with the story of the Time Traveler’s Wife. My father died at 51, my mother at 84. I have been cleaning out their house. I look at old pictures, read old letters. Most of the people are gone. A few weeks ago, I was telling my last surviving aunt that it feels so odd to look at these pictures that were taken long before I was born. It feels odd to look in on their lives. I am the time traveler.
On June 5th 2009 I read the introduction to the Dore Lectures on Mental Science, which was written on June 5th 1909. I felt like Thomas Troward was sitting in the living room with me, speaking those words that he had written a century ago. How did he know that I would so desperately need those ideas? It was as though part of him had traveled to the future.
Life is much more asynchronous than we realize. The Time Traveler’s Wife does a beautiful job of helping us to think about that.