Fjord & Ship

fjord & ship

At some point, René Descartes sat down beside an unlit woodstove in the freezing cold and wrote about travel being pointless. This was after he had traveled extensively. He then wrote, or continued writing, his Discourse. But what he did not have were pictures to later remind himself of his travels. All he had were his actual memories in his mind and what these meant to him. But an actual picture, like a beer coaster, or a wedding ring, these are actual barriers. They are outside us. And when we gaze upon them in pictures, we must gaze upon them with our current sense of wonder and the clarity of loss. We cannot anymore see the mountains we stood beside with those eyes we once had, and with a picture in our hands, our recollection of those mountains whose image we now see is shot. If there is anything stupendous in a photograph later on, it is mostly an accident. Any emotions attaching to an old photograph like this, the gray looming clouds in the sky and such, is really incidental. The point then of travel is to create what will turn out to be, if we survive long enough, a log of our gradual disappearance.

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