There are places I remember all my life
Though some have changed…
All these places had their moments…
In my life I’ve loved them all.
Places where we spend our lives.
Places that we visit for just one moment.
Places we discover by chance.
Places that attract us by their name on a map alone.
Places we will never see again.
Places we can never forget.
Places we long to come back to.
Places that scare us.
Places that comfort us.
Places that make us feel at home.
Places we find repulsive.
Places that fill us with awe.
Places we dreamed about
before we ever got there.
Places we got lost in
and places that we lost.
Places condition us.
Places protect us.
Places destroy us.
As metaphorical as they might appear,
places are always real.
You can walk around in them
or lie down on the ground.
You can take a stone with you
or a handful of sand.
But you can’t take the place with you.
You can never really own a place.
Even the camera can’t.
And if we take its picture,
we’re only borrowing the place’s appearance
for a little while,
nothing but its outer skin, its surface.
Some of the places I photographed
are about to disappear,
might already have vanished from the surface of the Earth.
They will only survive in photographs,
or better: The memory of them
will have to cling to the pictures we have of them.
Other places will outlive us
and even our efforts to capture them on photographs.
More so: They will survive any trace of us.
In a million years,
when no one will be around any more
to even remember us faintly,
some of these places will.
Places have memories.
They remember everything.
It’s engraved in stone.
It’s deeper than the deepest waters.
Their memories are like sand dunes,
wandering on and on.
I guess that’s why I take pictures of places:
I don’t want to take them for granted.
I want to urge them
not to forget us.