A time you’ve never Known / Eine Zeit, die du nie gekannt hast / Um tempo que você nunca Conheceu / Un tiempo que nunca has Conocido

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The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. L.P. Hartley

Looking at old photos, it is hard not to feel a kind of wanderlust – a pang of nostalgia, for times you have never experienced. To sit on the side of the road and watch the locals passing by.

Who lived and died before any of us arrived here, who sleep in some of the same houses we do, who look up at the same moon, who breathe the same air, feel the same blood in their veins – and live in a completely different World.

It is a World still covered in dust from the frontier. A World of adults, whose lives are hammered out by hand. A World of front porches, of fires to light in the evening, of conversations over a fence.

You watch as they carry on with their lives, that seem so important. Even if their story has already been told, even if none of it risks turning out any other way but the way it happened. But they carry on anyway.

The past is a foreign country, and we are only tourists. We can not expect to understand the locals, or why they do what they do. We can only ask them to hold still, so we can capture a photo to take home with us.

So we can sit for a few minutes in a World of black and white, with clean borders that protect us from the rush of time, like a tidepool just out of the reach of the waves, that lets you linger in the moment – so clear and still you can see your own reflection.

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