Every time I get on an airplane, I think the same exact thing:
Humanity never believed you could put hundreds of people into a chunk of aluminum with metal wings and make it fly across the globe until suddenly, you could do just that.
I want to believe that 100 years from now, the people of earth will be saying the same thing about time travel. Either because we are physically able to do it or because we have mastered a technique for preserving time in some way.
But until it’s perfected, I’ll write poems about the human method of time traveling:
She closes her eyes and parts her lips,
Her mind returning to a moment since past,
A body in motion without choice,
The cortex envisions a twisted bend of knuckles,
Two hands clutched tightly,
Running through the streets in laughter,
The preceding argument since lost,
Time ticking by and stripping away the mundane,
Leaving only traces of truth,
It’s London in the summer,
No recollection of bank overdrafts or late rent,
Only glorious sunsets and cheeky gentlemen,
The narrative is refined,
Stripped of any sign of banality,
Perfect hair days with spotless manicures prevail.
I was lucky enough to get into an early screening of About Time (it’s delightful - go see it) this week and it made me realize that we as humans would totally make a mess of our lives if we had the power to change even the most mundane of circumstances. So it’s probably OK if it takes 100 years. For now, I’ll time travel the best way I know how. With my memories.
Meet Em Somerville! She’s a super sweet and incredibly spunky chic geek blogging over at Lick My Cupcakes. Somerville’s a graphic artist, baker, crafter, Instgrammer extraordinaire, and “quite possibly a dinosaur made up of several cupcakes taped together, painted blue, & sprinkled with glitter.”
Somerville is also one of the ladies behind the magic of International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club, a project reviving the lost art of letter writing and connecting lady geeks worldwide! Being Geek Chic interviewed IGGPPC co-founders Emily Farquharson and Leslie Stewart here and here, respectively.
So dive into Being Geek Chic’s chat with Somerville! You’ll discover how social media contributes to her creativity, her one chosen superpower, and her surprising day job.
Q: What has led you to your passion?
A: I can’t really narrow my passion down to one thing I do, so I like to think it lies in my creativity as a whole. That’s actually where my art store name “Second Place Prize” comes from - I feel like it defines being good at a whole lot of things, but not great enough at any of them to be my niche. I’ve always steered towards art and writing, built blogs and websites since I was 13 and played around with sewing felt toys and crazy dresses for myself and friends. Taking photos is a huge part of my life and relationship, and driving around with my manfriend (known to me as The Batman), listening to music, exploring and taking snaps is probably my very favourite thing to do. I’ve found that the internet plays a huge part in unleashing creativity - it’s a beautiful thing! Social media platforms like Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter gave new life to making every moment creative and inspiring. I certainly have a day job - in finance, which surprises most! But I try to incorporate my passion for life into everything I do and make every day fun and creative, whether I’m doodling inappropriate drawings, baking a billion cupcakes or approving bank loans!
Q: When did you first realize you were “geeky?”
A: I don’t remember ever being much else. As a kid all I ever wanted was Dino-riders, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a Stretch Armstrong doll. My first crush was Skeletor. Yes, really! I couldn’t keep my eyes off that shrill-voiced, green-faced specimen of a man. I begged for a Gameboy for what felt like a hundred years before my parents finally surprised me with one. I always loved Dinosaurs and Science and have loved to write and create for as long as I can recall.
Occasionally I will catch my mind walking down the roads of my past. Both dark alleys of sadness and bridges of joy. It’s my personal form of time travel. An escape from the present and whatever is consuming me here. I often think of time that way. Not as a date or an event, but as a place.
We’re all formed by a personal history. Histories that are made up of actions and places taken by us and upon us and within us. The synapses in our brains connect and some elements of our personal histories become memories. In time, a choice few stand out while others fade.
When asked about my past, I recall not what was said or how the weather was or who was there. Rather, I recall the street.
London Avenue with site lines to the Great Lake.
A manilla colored apartment in Stadium Village. The Landlord must have been cheap, because the walls were made of painted cinder block.
In the woods of Cook, Minnesota, surrounded by wet pines.
In my parent’s forest green living room with our corduroy couch. This time, with the vague memory of Bob Ross painting trees in the background.
When I saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris last year, I connected with it deeply because of this very notion. While others marveled at the cinematic stylings or the sharp dialogue or the talents of Tom Hiddleston and Allison Pill as the Fitzgeralds - I fell for the bumbling Cal. He was captivated by memories that weren’t even his own. (How torturous!) He believed that the streets and the shops of a long-past Paris were more magical than the streets he walked then. Since I often can’t allow fictional characters go after their running time expires, I now imagine Cal in sunny Los Angeles writing a novel about trinkets from the early 2000s and thinking longingly of Paris in the form it impressed upon his mind only a few years ago.
At this point in history, we have a deeper understanding of the human mind and memory. While scientists are focused on curing lost memories due to disease and decay - me, the hackish writer, is focused on comprehending why certain memories never leave. And why do they exist in the form of a room? Or a street? Or a cinder blocked wall? I’m sure a therapist could tell me, but psychosis is a license to write.
Instead, I’d rather imagine time as an available booking for the traveling couple. Where would you visit?
A place since flattened by war?
A place that brought you happiness as a child?
A place since destroyed by commercial endeavors?
No longer would we have to rely on the strength of our memory to take us back to these places! And yet, whenever people talk about time travel - they want to go to the future. A time when we live on Mars. (Although I should point out, that too is a place.)
Last night, while walking along the Mississippi River with some girlfriends, I stopped them to remark on how the city really was quite beautiful from our particular vantage point. It was a good thing to do - to appreciate that moment. To appreciate that place. I wonder how long before my memory will take me there again.
Photo and video via TIME Style and Design.