Spaceships, Time Machines, Bicycles

Photo: One for the RoadWhen I think about it, I’m amazed at how many modes of transport exist. Contrary to the fantasies popular in the middle of the past century, we’re not all traveling in levitating cars and being atomized and reassembled on opposite sides of the world. But it’s still fiction-worthy stuff that emerges when I realize we’re within reach of fully self-driven cars and can already travel at light speed, drive under the sea, and fly to the moon and, yes—more importantly—back again.

Fiction, however, has always outstripped real-world progress, as well it should. If we don’t imagine it first, how can we build it? If we didn’t travel thus in dreams, what chance would there be of our ever doing so in life?

I have invented an item or two in my time, but my ingenious machinations have never yet been realized in concrete form, at least those unrelated to my art. Still, I hold dear the idea that ideation is the necessary precedent of exciting discoveries and meaningful inventions. As silly as they may seem, then, I’m unlikely to quit developing my odd creations of the imaginary sort.

Who knows what journeys might someday spring from them?Digital illustration from photos: Time Machines

I am Moved

Photo: Where the Wind Takes MeTransportation

These days, a gentle breeze is quite enough to take me down,

to knock me senseless to the curb, to blow me out of town,

or out of countenance, at least—but if I am astute,

I’ll let the breezes blow and take me down a different route.

Why should I let a breath derail my happiness like wrath,

if I can take it in my sail and find a different path?Photo: The Winds Bend but Do Not Break Me

The Departure Gate is Always Closer to Arrivals than You Think


photoThe end of one thing is almost invariably the beginning of another. Nothing reminds me of this more pointedly than time spent at the airport. People are jammed into this microcosm of hurry-up-and-wait, playing out every aspect of plodding patience and spiky urgency, of rabid determination and aimless uncertainty, on the spectrum ranging from action to stasis.photoIt’s easy to forget, when one is in the Infinite Queue that always precedes ticket purchase, baggage checking or security examinations, never mind plane boarding, that even the most extreme globe-spanning flights comprise in reality a very small portion of one’s entire life span (one hopes). Even easier to become so focused on the specific trip being taken at the moment that one will be leaving many places yet to journey to others, long after the current sojourn is a distant memory. Every one of the departures and arrivals may have its own significance, indeed, but each is only a passing event in a longer timeline.photoPerspective is difficult to achieve and even harder to maintain. To go toward one loved person or place demands that we leave another behind. This is how we will always be, one foot planted and reluctant to move from where we have been and the other striving to move us toward the new, our hearts and minds leaning forward or back but seldom willing to hold still right where we are. And it isn’t such a bad thing, at that. It’s how we grow and change and find new loves, none of which can happen without taking the occasional flying leap, whether it’s on an aircraft or strictly metaphorical. Time flies, but so can