As Sodom & Gomorrah burned for being especially wicked, Lot and his clan were running out of there. Lot’s wife (whose name is not even mentioned) gets turned to salt for turning around to have a look. Supposedly this a story about disobedience. I choose to think that it is a reminder that time is probably a one way river. It has always struck me that I would be extremely likely to end up as a condiment if I had to tear my eyes from all that ruckus. As I have said before, I believe we all have a voyeur in us. I think she was harshly treated for the very human response to want to take a piece of time with her.
If you ask a person what items they would rescue from their burning house (people/pets are safe), many would say photos. We can’t buy back time no matter how hard we grasp, but we have been given the gift of memory. Our senses have murky sides that produce memories – like rear view mirrors on time: if ever I were to smell White Shoulders perfume again I would be involuntarily transported back to the 7th grade and Beth Williams; when I hear Pictures of You by The Cure I am in my senior year of high school; last week I poured Pop Rocks out of the little envelope onto my tongue because I knew I would be back in the 6th grade, during recess at Trinity Lutheran School; when I feel the soap from the scrub sink hit my hands I am often taken back to the first day of my surgery rotation as a medical student; and when I see a photograph of someone I love, usually a snapshot, everything about the day seems to be mine, again.
These little sensory mirages give us every means to not forget. Flickr has billions of photographs of everything imaginable – for example there are 193 people in a group devoted photography of men wearing knee high socks. I am sure they have their reasons. Everyone is furiously putting little rectangles of light into digital cages, furiously holding on to that moment and that one, oh, and that one.
It is intimidating to think about making an original photo sometimes…until I remember that this time river is extremely wide and we each get an equal spot in the water. Maybe we can’t go backwards, but no one else has my particular view. I have earned my little spot in the river just because I am here and so I make pictures to remember my ride, and because sometimes they are beautiful which is the best reason of all.