Friday, March 14, 2008

Back? To the Future?

On RevGalBlogPals, Mother Laura asks questions about both time travel and Lent after pointing out how we’re in a time of transition (both because of Daylight Savings Time and Holy week). Here are her questions and my answers:

1. If you could travel to any historical time period, which would it be, and why?
My first instinct was to pick a time period when I could see my parents and/or grandparents when they were younger to see how they became the people that I got to know, sort of like Marty McFly did in the Back to the Future films. I especially thought it might be fun to stop in on my father’s mother, Elide Venturini, when she was growing up in Poggio Rusco, Italy, to see what her life was really like then. But on further reflection, while it’s tempting to do such traveling, I’m not sure it’d be wise. People reveal what they want known about those times, so respecting their views of what occurred and their privacy about things they didn’t share may make more sense. Instead, since I've so enjoyed visiting the ruins of places like Ostia Antica, I might travel to some place in the ancient world—Egypt, Greece, or Rome (though only as long as I could travel there as an observer, not a participant).

2. What futuristic/science fiction development would you most like to see?

There are so many. I’d like to see a medical tricorder like the one they had in Star Trek that could pick out a problem and then fix it with a wave of the instrument, a transporter that could wisk us from one spot to another (so I could begin to satisfy my desire to see lots of places I’ve never been to), and a holodeck, where I could visit historical situations and experience various adventures and activities safely with none of the downsides of being there in real life. But even with all these things, I think we’d still be dealing with most of the same issues—war, disease (not from lack of ability to cure them but from lack of resources being made available to everyone), exploitation, and poverty. So if there was a futuristic development that would wake us all up to living an economy of sufficiency for all rather than the one of overabundance/ scarcity that we have today, I’d choose that.

3. Which do you enjoy more: remembering the past, or dreaming for the future?

I enjoy remembering the past and gaining new insights from my reflections on it but I like dreaming about the future even more. What will the lives of my kids be like when they’re my age? How will we deal ethically with developing technologies that give us so many new possibilities in health, communication, and exploration? How can we/will we deal with issues of global warming, AIDS, the growing economic divide, and discriminations of all kinds? I love both the abstract and the more “practical” dreaming that the future offers. But, though I love dreaming about the future, I probably wouldn’t want to travel into it if I was given the opportunity. Instead, when it comes to such a possibility, I find myself with Garth Brooks in his song “The Dance”:

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end, the way it all would go.
My life is better left to chance. I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

4. What do you find most memorable about this year's Lent?

A year from now, there probably won’t be much about this Lent that I’ll remember. While we’ve tried some new things in Lenten worship, because of the extra work around my DMin project and our family’s battles with flu and respiratory problems, there hasn’t been anything terribly unusual that would make Lent memorable this year.

5. How will you spend your time during this upcoming Holy Week? What part do you look forward to most?

Working, cleaning, working, cooking, working. Next Tuesday I’ve got a presentation on virtual worlds to give to the faculty of the college at which I teach, services to prepare for at church (starting with a Palm Sunday sermon for which I need some inspiration), and family and friends coming next weekend to share Easter and its festivities. While I love almost everything I’ll be doing during Holy Week, I’m also looking forward to Easter Monday when it’s all over and I can sit down and stare at a book or a TV show.

1 comment:

Mother Laura said...

That Garth Brooks song is just what I needed today--thanks!