"These are but shadows of the things that have been," said the Ghost.
—A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
This was taken on the outskirts of town where there is little but farmland and most of the farms are used for growing rice. In the summer this area is full of kids hunting frogs in the stream, and trying to catch dragonflies or other insects.
Shadows of the Past
I'm fascinated by memory. We might visit a place daily or weekly and the place is very vivid in our minds, but then, for some reason, we stop visiting it and almost immediately it starts to fade from our memories as if it never were; if it was a place we were especially fond of, we might try to tell ourselves about it and refresh the memory, but in doing so all we have really done is alter the memory, making a new one with a story similar to what the reality was, but different†.
Was it real? Was it a dream? If the memory has been altered and the true event is lost, did it ever really happen?
How can we represent a fading or changing memory? Something like this, perhaps: an old crumbling photo effect?
†: This is common knowledge in psychology, and is why things like eye-witness accounts are actually not so trustworthy or accurate. Every time we "remember" something what we are actually doing is re-telling the story to ourselves, so to speak, and as anyone who has even played telephone※ can tell you, every retelling of something changes the story until what we are left with bears little resemblance to the original.
※: Telephone is a game where you get a line of people (10–15 is a good number) and you whisper something—anything—to the first person who then whispers it to the next person, and so on, until the final person. What you find is that the message the final person received is almost always completely different from the message the first person was told. How different depends on how many people were playing, but you would be amazed by just how quickly the message changes. So too with our memories.
‡: Footnotes within footnotes. David Foster Wallace has influenced me in that. If you haven't read his magnum opus Infinite Jest, stop whatever you are doing now and go read it. Anyway, wish there were a better way to display the footnotes here. Hmm.
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Don't miss the other great photos in the Beautiful Japan photo series!
#1–10 — Beautiful Japan, Collection #1
#11–20 — Beautiful Japan, Collection #2
#21–30 — Beautiful Japan, Collection #3
#31–40 — Beautiful Japan, Collection #4
#41 — Cherry Blizzard
#42 — House in the Sky
#43 — Explosive Clouds
#44 — Angry Sky
#45 — Autumn Reflections
#46 — Bliss of the Blossoms
#47 — Flight of the Birds
#48 — Hiding in the Crowd
#49 — The Laughing Buddha
#50 — This Old House
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I post one photo everyday, as well as a haiku and as time allows, videos, more Japanese history, and so on. Let me know if there is anything about Japan you would like to know more about or would like to see.
|David LaSpina is an American photographer lost in Japan, trying to capture the beauty of this country one photo at a time.|