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Spark Campfire | Time Capsule

Spark Campfire | Time Capsule
This entry is part 51 of 70 in the series Spark

Shared experiences at a certain point in time.

A relationship could be described as a collection of shared experiences. It’s often the “bigger stuff” that we “remember” from actions we took together.

What if we could create or form or improve or build our relationship with one another through a shared experience?

This post is a collection of notes, video takes (from the Toastmasters Utrecht speech of the same topic) and fodder for Spark Campfire: Write a book with a kid in a month.

Often those “shared experiences” with young people (not just our own kids, but nieces, neighbors, etc.) are events that happen to us–rather than something we take charge of, consciously create, and even schedule.

Sure, that unexpected stop when the car broke down on vacation was a “shared experience” that you’ll never forget.

But I’m talking more of the “creation” variety. Something we make together, build, design, and finish.

I’m a writer. The obvious “time capsule” for me to create with my kids is a book. I’ve now done 5 of them. But it might be a painting or building a tree house or even a cookbook with aunt and niece.

I’m a huge fan of the unexpected, especially when they happen to us together. When the electricity went out in the mountain cabin and we had to melt snow on the gas stove to flush the toilet. Or when they kicked us off the bus somewhere near Hong Kong–but not that near.

But what about those times we have some control over? The adventures, experiences, and memories we don’t want to wait around for? Can we create them? Can we just say, “Yes, we’re going to do this thing.” and then just do it?

I say we can.

The Time Capsule

I have a talk to give later this week. I’m going to write out here in screenplay format how I think it might go.

Here goes.

MOM: Ach, Schatje (Oh dear in Dutch). Remember a year ago when we did that thing?

KID: What thing?

MOM: We wrote that book together.

KID: Yeah.

MOM: Wasn’t it wonderful?

KID: It was OK.

MOM: (sighing) Oh it was glorious. You had always wanted to write a book and we finally did it.

KID: Mom, I think you’re the one who wanted to write the book.

MOM: Ach, Schatje. Remember you wanted to write a romance about that neighbor man Alejandro.

KID: I wanted to write about the ultimate food fight at school. You wanted to write about Alejandro.

MOM: What did we end up writing about, Schat?

KID: Alejandro became the principal of the school and the food fight was vegetarian only.

MOM: Wasn’t it dreamy?

KID: It was kinda fun, mom. I have to admit it.

MOM: I love you, Schatje.

KID: I love you, too, mom.

Diverging Memories

See what happened there? Two people remember the same event in different ways. But they both had fond and clear memories of it–if differing in facts.

But it doesn’t matter. They shared it together.

More Random Notes

Copied from my scribbles on a napkin in the café.


A collection of shared experiences. One might even say a collection of shared time capsules.

I could go as far as saying that “time capsules” or shared experiences are the building blocks of a relationship. How do we gather them then? We create them.


Let’s say the book is a flop. It’s poorly written and no one wants to buy it. Yep, it can happen.

Do you ever hear people tell this story about their vacation:

We stayed in a nice hotel, the food was good, the parking was free, and we had a pretty good time.

It was average, boring even. Nothing special. The stories are more often like this:

After the train was late and we missed our connection, we had to stay in that little town where we met Roberto and his family took us in for the night and we played cards until 2 AM!

“Failure” is often loads more fun, much more memorable, and usually not nearly as bad after it happens as you thought it was while it was happening.


Why a book as time capsule? It’s easy to start, can be edited, super short (or as long as you want) and can be shared for generations.

Speaking of generations…

A book is forever

Let’s say you write a book together. Sure, you’ll both revel in the experience years later. Yay! Awesome.

But what about years and years later? What about, (gasp, gulp, take a seat, I know) when your kids of your kids (those are called grandkids) read the book you wrote together with your daughter when she was 14?

Let that sink in a moment.

It’s Now or Later

There is only one now. Sure, there’s later and tomorrow and next year but it’s not the same as now–or back then.

To put it plainly, my 15-year-old son will never again be 15. He might act 15 for several more years but he’ll never be 15 again (thank God).

Video Takes

Take #1

Take #2

Take #3

Take #4

Take #5

Take #6

Take #7

Take #8

Take #9

Time Capsule

Amersfoort Toastmasters
April 11, 2019

Series Navigation<< Spark Campfire | Think about your audiobook before you thought you needed toSpark Campfire | Sweat Hut >>

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