Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Day-After-The-Election Attempt to Loop Time

Audrey mentioned she collects old photographs. Old photographs of her family and also old photographs of random people with a descendant who had a yard sale and sold granny's black and whites. 

I'm hip to this. The Momster picked up a thing for cabinet cards a few years back. Nothing like rifling through a pile of snaps laid out on the family coffee table and not recognizing anyone. Because, as it turns out upon inquiry, no one has any clue who the people in the pictures actually are. They were purchased at the flea market in the old Nichol's building.

Mom comments on the expressions of soldiers in photos taken just before marching off to war, on hats and other fashion. It's kind of maudlin and voyeuristic and at the same time it's an honor to the dead. 

A cabinet card from 1896. Dressed in their best, a family nervously fidgets for the camera.
photo credit:

Audrey brought up her old photograph fascination right before the lights dimmed and the star of the Encounter popped out onto the stage. And began talking about time. Specifically about how photographs aim to mess with time. Stop it. Subvert it. 

Time ought to flow in a wide arc and loop over itself in a circle, according to The Encounter guy. Presume you're an indigenous person desperately trying to follow the loop back into the past. You're trying to gain some chronologic distance from the gringos and their deforestation and their oil hunting rampages. 

In such a case, you do not want to get snagged and unable to time travel back to the good old days. You burn every evidence of the present including some white guy's camera and film. You take wild shaman drugs, and attempt to wash yourself around a temporal corner. 

Except somehow you are locked in time. You are locked in that exact mess of a moment. Which repeats, night after night, on Broadway for a limited engagement until March.

Oh, spoiler alert, there.

But these old photographs are a tidy circle. They draw you back, right into the instant the flash bulb flashed. And flash bulbs were blindingly bright in those days. If you study the faces captured on film, you can, maybe, escape the present for as long as your modern-day ADD allows.

Pic of my great-grandma Minnie. She was not a nurse.
At the local photo parlor, you could dress up in a costume.

NaBloPoMo November 2016
Day 9
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