Curiosity

My grandfather died three years ago. It was the first death I experienced in my family and because of this, I’d never experienced what a funeral was like. Everyone in my family is farmer. Rough people, down-to-earth, but with big hearts. Emotional and kind people. That’s why on the day my grandfather was to be buried, lots of tears were shed. It brought us closer together, as a family.

My grandfather served in the army, where his duty was to drive a high-ranking officer around the battlefield, which was nice, as he didn’t have to do any hard work and he got to drive a jeep. You could say he was a private chauffeur.

After the war was over and he was dismissed, he conducted more creative activities. He ventured the lands of painting, writing, photographing. He even tried sculpting. None of these satisfied his wants however, until he stumbled upon the activity he did until his death. At first, no one knew what that was until after the funeral. The notary read his will and while it were emotional but beautiful words, the last two sentences stuck with me especially. “…and for Garreth, my youngest grandchild, I leave my notebook, which contains all my inventions, as this was what I spent doing the last years of my life. I hope it grants you the same joy I experienced while exploring the world of invention, dear Garreth. Curiosity is a fortune in itself,” the notary read. When he finished, everyone went quiet. Of course, these are the final words our loved one, who has left this world, leaves us with, but the silence also appeared because everyone was reflecting on the things that were mentioned in his will. All grandchildren inherited something from his possessions. I could name it all, but it wouldn’t be of any meaning to someone who doesn’t even know the meaning of them. The notebook however, is a different thing.

My grandfather was a wise man. The moments from my childhood he was in were always filled with words of his wisdom. Advice and tips, on hardships, on joy, on fortune; on life. The notebook he left me had to be a combination of pages filled with this wisdom, written down so it won’t be forgotten. When a twenty year old gets a book while there are videogames, social media, parties, and girls, it might seem unfitting, but in this case, it was a precious gift. As soon is I browsed through the book, I saw lots of notes, in his typical, neat handwriting. Some of them I was able to read, others I wasn’t (at least, not at a quick glance). On some pages, there were drawings. Drawings of machines, objects, and formulas, but also drawings of landscapes, animals, and people. When we got back home, I spent the evening looking through the notebook. Reading his notes, looking at his drawings, and remembering him for who he was and what he meant to me. The evening went and so did the days. I put the notebook away, to read it again later, but that later didn’t come soon. The following days were filled with college, hanging out, parties, and other activities a twenty year old does. The days became weeks and the weeks became months. The notebook gathering more and more dust on the shelves.

Until much later, half a year or so, I was browsing through the shelves, looking for a studybook, when I came across the notebook again. I took it, to browse through it for old times sake. I sat down and read some of the notes I’d read half a year ago, looked at the drawings again and thought about my grandfather. Pages were turned and I was about done reading the notebook when I saw the binding at the back of the book was coming off. “Shame,” I thought, because I wouldn’t want the book coming apart. I took it to the kitchen to try and fix it, when I saw something sticking out of the backcover. A closer look at it determined it was a little piece of paper. The piece of paper turned out to be the edge of a larger piece of paper. Another note, but this one not written down in the notebook but hidden in the cover. It was folded two times, and as I opened it, I saw it was scribbled with words, little notes, and a lot of numbers. A lot of the notes I couldn’t make out and I definitely didn’t know what the numbers were about, but looking closer, I could read some sentences; one at the top and some at the bottom. As I read them, my heart skipped a beat. I didn’t quite believe what I’d read, so I read it again. “Curiosity is a fortune in itself, dear Garreth,” the top sentence read. Even though that sentence had left its importance on me, the sentences at the bottom made no sense. They were unbelievable, but the thought my grandfather had written them made them believable. “While there still is a lot of work to be done, I was already well under way. I hope you will venture onward and complete my life’s work. The notes on this piece and the ones in the notebook are the base of what they call-

 

“a timemachine.”

 

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