A couple of months ago I found negatives of the photos I had taken during a school trip to France (Tours, the Loire Valley) in May 2007. Realizing I had never scanned most of them, I had to attend to that mistake immediately. In the process I also came across a .doc file containing the report we had to write for our French class afterwards. The effect of the trip becoming alive once more in front of my eyes through writing and images was very Proustian. I was surprised by the honesty of my words – I consider myself to be a more open person now than I was in 2007, yet if I were to write that report today, I would probably omit most of what I chose to include in the original version and focus on less personal things. It escapes me how at the time I was not in the least afraid of anyone else but me reading those metaphors.
What I find most interesting about the photos I finally scanned more than 2 years later is the (illusory) sense of carefreeness they exude. I know that nostalgia romanticizes the past and I know that despite being in France (or precisely because of it – our trip certainly did have a fair share of drama) each of us had their problems to cope with, but I think that somewhere along the way we became completely devoid of the ability to be this carefree ever again. I always say I’m content to live Here and Now and wouldn’t trade it for other times and places, but I often feel as if some things progress too rapidly for me to be able to stay present in the moment and not fall behind. Perhaps I would prefer not to assume the responsibility that comes with age.
« Il n’ya pas de « était ». Le temps est. Si « était » existait, il n’y aurait ni soufferance, ni tristesse. » (Faulkner)