Moving On

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There is a time to move on. That is what my grandmother told me many years ago. It is how we move on that makes life interesting, productive, meaningful.

We cannot change time, or the season. What we can do is embrace the present, to honour the moments that are given and affirm the poignancy of our inability to hold time in abeyance.

Cities are no different. They are ever-changing, a reflection of our evolving societies. As the Scottish scientist, Patrick Geddes, noted, “But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” And time moves on, with new dramas appearing and receding into archival memory.

La Taqueria restaurant, situated on Cambie and Broadway, close to City Hall is on the move. The building is scheduled for demolition, making way for a new construction that promises more space and amenities. For patrons of La Taqueria, the move is only a block away. Within the messages of gratitude written on the walls, there is a recognition of moving on, for acknowledging that what was once, is no more. There is also a sense of excitement, anticipation, a commitment to accept what comes next.

“To every thing here is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Stopping Time

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”  Anaïs Nin

I have often thought of this quote by Anaïs Nin – not in the context of a writer, but in the framework of a photo. Ever since Joseph Nicephore Niepce clicked the first photo in 1814, humanity has been beguiled by the ability to capture something important.  It is our only way to stop time, to remember our journeys, and proclaim that we have lived, felt love, endured challenges and sustained losses.

I confess that I am a “photo hoarder.”  Yes, even the photos that I consider “second best” remain safely stored on external drives in hopes that some day there may be an editing program that will be invented that will enhance and bring out their beauty. By beauty, I mean the emotional impression of that event.

Just last week, I went back to “taste life twice.”  The year was 2004.  I had purchased my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot A70, for a long-awaited trip to Italy to enroll in a 3-week Italian language course.  The reviews were as generous as I was enthusiastic: “The PowerShot A70 is much more than just a 3.2-megapixel version of its predecessor, the A40.”   I was convinced that this was an excellent purchase.

With a camera in hand, there is added emotional drama at play, more clarity, more interest in the “now.”  This awareness was most keenly felt when I walked the lush paths of Frederick Stibbert’s Garden.  It was a late October afternoon. A gentle light settled on the trees and aging walls, a faint wind tossed the leaves.  A quiet solitude lifted my spirits.  I had recently finished an arduous academic journey and was at a crossroads.

Looking back on these photos, I remember a pivotal decision, made with a recognition that we move in tune with the music of time, surrounded by those who came before and those who will come after. Our myths, our struggles, our joys are intermingled.  Perhaps it is in the retrospective, in knowing what happened afterwards, that reveals a greater understanding.  And with that knowledge, we move forward with profound resolve to embrace the next moment.

 

 

Embracing Transitions

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…and the time came when the risk it took to remain in a tightly closed bud became infinitely more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anaïs Nin (1903 – 1977)

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