Truly Blessed

ALS patient James Martin shares his journey.

Time Travel

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James Martin
Sunday, July 22, 2012

Time has been the focus of a few of my essays and is an intricate part of my journey. There is significantly more time behind me than before me and I am sure it will be a recurring theme of this blog.

Time is the commodity used to measure the past, present, and future. We cannot get it back, we cannot stop it, we cannot control it.  Science fiction writers have promised time machines hundreds of times over.  Yet the science behind such machines remains elusive.

But time travel to the past is possible. It is not done via machine or a hopped up DeLorean; you can simply travel back in time with music. 

For an afternoon this past week, we did just that. We saw Rock of Ages and I was transported back to high school.  Music was the time machine that brought back feelings, thoughts and dreams that had been dormant for decades. For a couple of hours,  I was back in my teens, playing hacky sack with long hair and wearing checkered vans like Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  I was young.  I was thin.  I had grand plans, and the music continued. 

Song after song took me back to the unbridled optimism of my teenage years. The feeling of freedom, hope and youth; life before illness, insurance, and mortgages. From the first note to the credits I had a stupid grin on my face. It was good old rock and roll fun and a nice way to spend the afternoon. 

Songs take you back to your first love, your first record, your youth.  It's funny what songs remind you of what. Santa brought me KISS's Love Gun album when I was in third grade. I bet you never thought of "Christine Sixteen" as a Christmas carol. But for me, I hear that music and I travel back and see the album propped up under the scraggly live Christmas tree.  I also see my parents in the background with a puzzled look wondering why Santa would do that to them.  KISS now reminds me of the naive innocence of parenting.

So my advice to you is get a soundtrack for your life. Fill your iPod with the songs that take you back in time, that make you happy.  Fill it with your youth, your optimism, your dreams; keep it alive.  Then hop into your DeLorean and ride that music into your future. 

Last updated: 10:46 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

James Martin is a former attorney and graduate of Gonzaga University and Marquette Law School. He lives in Spring Prairie near Burlington. He has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. He is married with 6 kids. James is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the Gazette staff or management.

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