I have a good friend who occasionally takes me on visits to the future. She knows where the time machines are and how to work them, but also knows that I like to get home for my tea. So our visits to the future are mostly short, but always interesting.

They’re also really good for me. Not only because I learn a lot, but because they’re good for my health and my general sense of well-being too.

I’m a naturally optimistic person, you see, most of the time. But sometimes my natural supplies can get depleted, for all kinds of political and running low on iron sorts of reasons. Or simply from working hard for a lot of weeks together. And these are the times when Jane tends to turn up and take me for some time in the future. To see what they’re up to there.

So I’ve spent time in headsets, time in soundscapes and time in new words and worlds like haptic and immersive storytelling. In FACT off Bold Street during the summer. Then today in Liverpool John Moores University. The places where the time machines are, sometimes.

And it’s always good for me when we get there. To meet some people and talk to them about what they’re doing and inventing and playing with. Out there in the future.

Knowing that even when it feels like the sky is falling down in the here and now, it won’t necessarily be so. Because us humans are naturally inventive types, coming up with all sorts of new ideas for so many good purposes, like health and memories, and love and stories.

I know, I’ve spent time in the future and seen what it might be like.

Back home writing this then, and well in time for tea, I’m thinking of other things I’ve been immersed in this past week. The anthropocene, decolonialism, ethnomethodology and the joys of good writing. Not necessarily causes of optimism and happiness, each on their own. But put together with this time in the future they’re feeling like a rich life of thinking and exploration. For which I’m deeply grateful.

I don’t know where all this learning is taking me. Of course I don’t. This getting up early, the walking to university and spending days in so many kinds of fascination. But it’s all adding up, I can feel it adding up.

And some time soon I might write some more words about time in the future that might make more sense than these. But for now I’m just excited, still excited, to be along for this ride.

Big thanks to my friend Jane Leah, my guide to the future, for inviting me to ‘Immersive Storytelling Experiences’ at LJMU today. She knows where the time machines are. 

Published by Ronnie Hughes

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

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