Time and Destination
For as long as she could remember Amelia had been at odds with the idea of saving time. She knew that people who did save time never actually made any withdrawals on that which they had banked. She preferred to spend hers wisely as she went along. It was something learned from her parents. The rhythm of their lives being set by nature, the rising and setting sun, the ebb and flow of the tides and the changing of the seasons. She was grateful to have inherited their appreciation of time. It empowered her to make considered choices and good life decisions.
Today with blue skies and a light breeze Amelia left home in good time to enjoy a walk in the sunshine and to feed birds by the river. Arriving early at the railway station the quiet of her stroll was soon broken by the noise of hundreds of people rushing around. It seemed like she was the only unhurried person there. Standing to read the departures board her mind started to wander. Absorbed in her thoughts the noise around her tapered off and was no longer a distraction.
Amelia started to ponder the many aspects of our lives influenced by the notion of a ‘destination’. That a destination becomes our purpose and aim. A destination reached is a goal achieved. The joy of the journey is sacrificed to achieve the final goal. She thought too how technology had lent a hand in creating a destination driven society.
Amelia had many fond memories of her childhood, including the times when the whole family went for long drives in the country. Going nowhere in particular with just a few maps and a sense of discovery the journey was the important thing. They all enjoyed the countryside and would stop along the way to pick berries, walk the hills or watch a canal boat pass through the lock. They drove slow winding roads playing iSpy. It was a fun family day out.
Amelia began to consider how different it is now. It saddened her to think that kids watch videos while their parents listen to the voice of a computer telling them to turn right, before triumphantly announcing “You have reached your destination”. The very thought made her shudder!
Shaking off her less than positive thoughts about in-car entertainment and satellite navigation Amelia started to imagine a departure board with destinations which might make peoples lives a little more sociable and interesting. She wondered if customers would consider buying a day return to ‘Somewhere Nice’ or head out on a train going ‘Nowhere’? Both great destinations! She popped them onto her imaginary departure board, alongside the 13:21 to ‘Timebank Central’ where passengers could make their long overdue withdrawals from The Central Time Bank. She then added the 13:36 to ‘Remembering’ where travellers could visit the memorial dedicated to all the time killed this millennium. Her favourite though was the 13:32 bound for ‘A Quieter Life’ calling at ‘Every old friend you’ve been meaning to keep in touch with’.
Looking forward to her trip Amelia boarded the 13:24 to Somewhere Nice. As she settled into her seat she remembered a conversation she had about a year ago. It was with a lovely elderly gentleman who before leaving the train said to her; “Keep your bag safe and your memories safer”.
busy going nowhere
I’d been walking in the hills since dawn picking mushrooms of the magical variety; munching a few, collecting more, until I had filled my rucksack and it was time to head for home. As I reached the outskirts of the town I suddenly realised how tripped out I was. The roads and houses were dark and menacing with dark purple storm clouds roiling overhead as if at any moment the apocalypse would occur. And the people all had animal heads; foxes, jackdaws, toads, rats and otters, to name a few, all squawking in an incomprehensible language of grunts and roars! Oh dear! Getting home might prove to be more of a mission than I had thought. Oh well, oops a daisy, a few deep breathes, and I pushed on through the streets with no mercy until, at last, I reached the train station. I put on my headphones to blend in and started listening to Sons Of Kemet’s latest cd called “your queen is a reptile”. Aah! Now I was grooving round the station trying to find my platform, sonic sounds of saxophone, tuba and drums reverberating in the caves of my mind, as the departure board came into view. Dayglow letters and numbers pulsing and drifting in and out of focus, and then I saw the train to “somewhere nice” and laughed like a drain, a train? That’s the one for me a magical mystery tour, for sure. So I headed for the platform and tried to board the train to “somewhere nice”, only to be stopped by the ticket inspector with the badger’s head, who bared his sharp teeth at me and told me I had the wrong ticket. He pointed out the platform where my train home was waiting, so I got on board and reflected that home was somewhere nice after all. I settled into my seat and turned up the volume; bam boom bap dip damba dom yeah!