The spiralling time

Yes­ter­day, while clean­ing the base­ment, I came across a box con­tain­ing a few pho­tos, most of them framed, that had been sit­ting in old apart­ments for a while. The box had not been opened for twelve years. That’s about the length of my long ren­o­va­tions, dur­ing which hang­ing any­thing on the walls was out of the question.

I brought the box back to the apart­ment, promis­ing to make myself a lit­tle cor­ner for memories. 

Today, I dust­ed them off, smiled, my heart wrapped in the heavy humid­i­ty of mem­o­ry. I’m not sure now that I want to hang them up. Maybe a few, with­out being able to decide if it’s worth it.

It flees, it flees, this time, inex­orably. I regret the epoch of pho­to albums, those that could be opened on our lap, pre­cious papers, rare though they were, because, at that time, you still had to devel­op twen­ty-four, thir­ty-six pho­tos, to choose what should remain, what could stay hidden.

Now, we keep every­thing in the clouds of com­pa­nies that have turned our pho­tos into algo­rithms to bet­ter steal both our past and our wallet.

Mem­o­ry has been trans­formed, not nec­es­sar­i­ly for the worse. It seems more volatile. We can, of course, put a screen on our lap and scroll through the moments of our ephemer­al exis­tence. The pho­tos are often too numer­ous for us to real­ly pay atten­tion to them. Did we real­ly choose them ? And then, we don’t have that feel­ing of vol­ume, that illu­so­ry impres­sion that the past could still pile up and crush us gen­tly until we become atom­ic sediment.

The past has become so light, as small as a smart­phone screen, insen­si­tive as a cloud under our fingers.

It’s nei­ther bet­ter nor worse than before, even if I give the impres­sion of regret­ting what things in my time were like. 

Let’s imag­ine the cen­turies when only a few nota­bles, queens, kings could have their por­traits tak­en. What has become of all those faces that have ensured our exis­tence ? It mat­ters so lit­tle to us. Let’s imag­ine even fur­ther when the hands of a few Aus­tralo­p­ithe­cus drew in blood strokes some sem­blance of mem­o­ry. Would that change our present plea­sure to exist ?

The past is indeed a spi­ral that gets dizzy build­ing the future. Who, one day, will browse the Inter­net and cross my gaze ? It is not the past that is sad, rather the prospect that we are for­bid­den to look into the bag of Becoming.