Time is constant, it is unavoidable, it can be unattainable, and it is a commodity. When someone we cherish is gone, we wish we had more time with them. When a deadline is approaching we say, “If only I had a little more time.” People say that life is short, but what they really mean is that there isn’t enough time. We spend our days in the hustle and bustle, sending e-mails, eating lunch at our desks, multitasking, scheduling meetings, and doing everything we can to make the most of our time. Everything we do and everything we have done, everything, is in one way or another dependent upon time.
It was an amazing day when the first cave drawing was created, freezing a moment in time. What sparked in that person’s mind, motivating them to make a record of history? Was he aware that he had virtually defined the word “history” as we now know it? Was it hard for others to grasp the idea that time not only marched steadily forward, but was also made up of distinct points in the past that we could capture? Until that moment we only had memories of events that we could recollect by saying, “Remember the time when…?” Over the ages we began to invent better ways of capturing history, whether it was carved in stone, drawn on paper, or a painted on canvas, but these methods could only show a rough portrayal of the actual event. That is, until the invention of photography.
“Photography appears on the scene as though someone had found a way to freeze the water of passing time; appearances that were once fluid as water running through one’s fingers became solid objects.” – Rebecca Solnit