A Picture Paints a Thousand Seconds

Recently, the following question was posed in the Goodreads.com Time Travel group:

“If you discovered a way to travel through time by using a photograph, which photo (personal or historical) would you use? Feel free to include…an explanation of why you chose it.”

I wanted to repost my response to that question here as my answer will serve as an introduction to a forthcoming post.

Here it is…

I’d use a picture that my 3 and a half year old daughter made with my wife a few months ago. It shows a picture of a watch and a clock, and shows the abstractness you could imagine from a young child.

Or is it abstract? Perhaps it’s an accurate statement of the real workings of time!

Time travel basics 101
Image credit: My daughter!

Why do I choose this picture? I think my daughter’s understanding of time and the possible ramifications for time travel is excellent given the conversations I’ve had with her about time. I’ll quote from a post in my Daddy blog about children’s understanding of time.

Me: (showing her a clock) “That fast hand goes all the way around, and that’s one minute, and then that long hand moves forwards a little bit. And when it goes all the way around, then that’s one hour and the short hand moves from number 1 to number 2.”

Daughter: “But Daddy the hands are moving all at the same time!”

If the second, minute and hour hands all move together, does this mean that seconds, minutes and hours all pass at the same time? Are seconds, minutes and hours pretty much all one and the same? Maybe they are for a three (and a half) year old. Everything happens at once, NOW…

Daughter: Can I have this now, Daddy?

Me: No, You can have it later, Sweetie.

Daughter: Is it later now, Daddy?

I’m also sure that on the day she gets married and I walk her down the aisle, I’ll be taken back in time to these childhood moments…but I don’t think I’ll need the picture then!

As for when the picture would take me…I don’t really care, as long as it would take me back again to my family. These moments in time are far too precious to lose!

This post won me a copy of “The Photo Traveler” by Arthur J. Gonzalez. I’m currently reading it, and I’ve been asked to provide a review.

So stand by!

PS: I’ve only ever won 2 things. This was one. The other was a rag doll at a tombola when I was 8. Although my daughter might disagree, the time travel novel comes out tops!

Author: Paul Wandason

I love astronomy and science fiction, but I love my family more. So I love time travel too!

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