If I wanted to time travel I would start by looking in familiar places where time is easily found. Libraries. Pawn shops. Public houses with brass rails and worn countertops. Places for ordinary people to exchange ideas and have experiences and leave their fingerprints and stories in heaps all around. The flotsam of humanity washing up and collecting in these everyday terminals like driftwood on a shoreline. A receipt left next to an empty coffee cup. A name written next to a phone number. A poster for a band I will never see. I will relax into these spaces knowing I am hidden in perfect anonymity. And in these liminal spaces surrounded by strangers I will begin to loosen the threads of the obvious and conventional in order to move in other directions.
And when I am ready I will dip into a crowd and down an alley and through the stage door of an old theater. I will leave the plush velvet seats to the audience and choose instead to venture backstage. Yes. Of course. I will go to the theater. Where lives have come to be chronicled and witnessed, written and heralded and watched. Where heroes have taken to their journeys and love is lost and won again as the collective breathes in the moments together.
I will dress like a shadow and slip through the veil as easily as one can pass between the canvas drops mirroring the great places. Mountains and cityscapes and starry nights and glaring choices. I will dress in black and wear quiet shoes and transcend reality with every scene change. I will pass by the layers of the story and change it on purpose in my wake. I am a loosed shadow as lithe as Peter Pan’s elusive counterpart. I move as I please and I move on purpose.
This is a cathedral of choices. This is a place where time moves with fervor and the human experience is rythmic and condensed. I will hear the continuing calls for light changes and set changes and I will be compelled to move. Lighting. Go. Drop. Go. Scene change. Go.
I will know it is time to move in the same way the audience knows that the hero will rise as the walls of their collective conscience focus and the spotlight of their attention tightens. There will be a silence. And then there will be a crescendo that leads to a choice. A singular chord progression will challenge the hero in a way that the audience has been waiting for. Wanting for. Believing all along.
And when the stakes rise and we turn for the end I will know it is time to go. In this moment I will run. Through the layers and layers as they repeat and transcend. Looking up for a split second to the rafters in the heavens and just as I reach the back of the stage I will pass through the barrier that used to look like a pitch cold cement block wall. It will give way like a perfect and willing keychange and I will float through time and matter simply and perfectly. Passing through as energy between atoms with the freedom and joy of a child running through raindrops.
On the other side I may find solace or adventure. A busy street or a great cathedral so silent it echoes with the prayers that it remembers. Here I may witness a privileged conversation, a hope between lovers, or the most vulnerable utterances of lonely fear and longing. I could dance and dodge among these sacred strangers that are also me. Strolling down ancient streets and recognizing the others as parts of myself. Shared humanity. Archetypes and neighbors that I know so well. I am not here to stay, but I am here and it is real.
The story wants to be found.
When the time is right the deep knowing will enter my chest and I will choose to pass back through. I will participate in the cross over. Back and back and back again. In a moment I am home. Among the strangers of my time. I will step onto this plane of existence and feel the gravity of my natural timeline. I will feel the weight of my being and my feet firmly on the ground and I will shrug my arms through my coat. I will feel held to the earth, but remember the feeling of not belonging to gravity at all in the best way possible. This will be my secret. That I moved so far. And returned changed. I will take what I have witnessed and secure it like a whisper in my pocket and I will walk through the doors as if I am normal. As if I am the same. The others will never know. I will walk out onto the street and complete the re-entry by participating in this reality and pretending like rules and crosswalks matter.
But what I will know is that magic exists.
And that I can walk through walls.