Backward glance, forward motion

A recent trip started me thinking about the connection of place and time. How we are from a place, but that is dependant upon time. After a certain period, we can no longer claim a place if it is a different time. This trip and an essay by the tremendous Rebecca Solnit, made me thoughtful about how much place is connected to time.

Currently, I live in the southwestern corner of Canada, along the Salish Sea, on the edge. The edge of the Pacific. The edge of an island. The edge of a continent.

I haven’t always…

For a short year, I was from Hamburg, Germany. Aber ich bin kein Deutscher. For four years in my youth, I was from Guadalajara, Mexico. Pero no soy mexicano.

So, where is my place? And, at what time? Since I grew up and lived for much of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area, I might say there. But, I haven’t lived in the Bay Area since 2003. San Francisco is no longer my place, after all of that time.

Why not? Because place can not be separated from time. At one point in my life, I was from San Francisco, because I inhabited it in both time and place. Now, even when I return, I am not of the place, because it is a different time.

These thoughts occurred to me, as my Sweetie and I travelled to and from the mainland, south of Vancouver. While I frequently travel and work there, I am not of that place either and only occasionally of the time I spend there.

As we returned to southern Vancouver Island, it did feel that I am of this place and time. I am not from here; only the Indigenous residents are from here. Yet, I do feel that I occupy both a time and place here. Somewhere that might be called home.

For now…

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NB: Observational Documentation captured on our two ferry crossings and around south Surrey. Double exposures captured in camera.

7 Replies to “Place and time”

  1. Really enjoyed this post – very nice black and white – and something to think about

  2. Great photographs!! As I sit home not venturing out much, I am sick of my place at this time!!!!

    1. Robin, sorry that your sick of your place! Perhaps you will find the time to make local place images… there is always beauty nearby.

  3. Wonderful shots, such great moments of contrast that create their own forms within the images, nicely done.
    I travel for work (or did until the virus started its invasion) and have had a similar feeling of not quite knowing where I was or when I was. When I was at home I was a different person than when I was on my own at work. I’ve figured out how to merge aspects of the two, but I think you’re right, because of the locality they will never create the same person.

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