Sunday, 16 October 2016

Long Live Impermanence!

Letter to the New York Times Magazine, Sunday, October 9, 2016:

For me, photography is magical – it takes a slice of time and freezes it forever. But not actually forever: The negatives fade and get thrown out at the estate sale; the pixels get erased or frozen in an obsolete chip; the image gets buried in a cloud of millions or billions of other images. Photography is as impermanent as the event that it captured. Its magic is to give us a sense of freezing time even as the frozen image melts before our eyes, just as we melt before the eye of the camera. Baby picture, smiling first day of school, crazy teen, lover, parent, grandparent, headstone. Long live impermanence!
– Don Hope, West Hartford, Connecticut.

One of my weekly celebrations is the arrival of the New York Times on Sunday mornings, an indulgence for the last decade. My friend Jean once observed that there is more information in the Sunday New York Times than the average medieval human encountered in a lifetime.

And, predictably, I have a ritual for reading the Times: magazine first, then the book section, then the arts section, then the rest of the paper. All accompanied by strong coffee. Heaven.

One of the many joys of the New York Times is that it takes photography very seriously, which I love. A constant, much-valued source of stimulation and provocation. Long may it continue.

I love the letter above. It is typical of the whip-smart, articulate people who write letters to the Times. Many of these people could also write for the Times. And long may that continue, too.

In the spirit of Don Hope’s celebration of impermanence, here are photos from the last week or so. Enjoy!

Photographed at the Toronto Zoo.

Sagging building, Morven, Ontario.

Abandoned Chevelle, Morven, Ontario.

Full moon rising over Prince Edward County.

Giant crocuses, Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario.

Door knocker, St. George's Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario.

Autumn scene near Napanee, Ontario.

Abandoned truck, Stittsville, Ontario.

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