Time travel training: Art from the past, letter to the future

Here is a letter to my future self that I wrote at the start of this year, addressing two questions:

  1. What do you expect to be doing in your seventies?
  2. What do you hope to have achieved by then?

Dear Sophia,

I hope you have “achieved” a life of meaning, diverse experiences and feelings, curiosity, connection, fulfillment, and love. I put “achieved” in quotes because these things are an ongoing process and way of life, and things I hope won’t end for you up until the day you die.

I hope you’re still getting to enjoy many of the things I do now — meaningful conversations and shared experiences with the people you love, time in nature, and the ongoing process of working towards fuller ways of understanding and being in the world.

I hope you really feel like you are doing these things (or things I can’t even imagine now), because you really want to do them, because they bring you joy and satisfaction (and not because someone’s pushing you to do them or you feel like you “should.”)

I hope you don’t forget me and all the other “selves” you used to be, and that you keep journaling and revisiting us. I can’t predict all the decades of experiences that lie between us, but I’ll try my best right now to take care of my mind, body, and world, because one day it will be yours.

To close this letter, here is something I read yesterday from Theories of the Arts in China by Lothar Ledderose: “Old trees are not thought of as creatures approaching death, but on the contrary as beings filled with accumulated vital energy” (175)

Best wishes and love,

Sophia

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