Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In Time

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: When did I first become a time traveler? I must have been one at about age 6 when I noticed chips on the door frame of my bedroom. New York City apartments sometimes pass through many tenancies. The landlords' painters who repaint for each new tenant have a certain reputation; the chips were deep, the layers clearly defined. Each chip revealed a multi-colored stratification of paint layers, each a key into to a lost space - forgotten dynasties had thrived in my room, had occupied the places of my parents and family and me. From the number of different colors there might have been 15 or 20 such reincarnations of my space. Who were these people and what had become of them? What had happened where I stood?

At age 6, to my tiny years, the immensity of those 15 or 20 occupancies seemed as beyond reach as the moon and endlessly intriguing. Even then I felt charged by vague tendons through which the past grips the present.