Following on my SOAP series – (Story of a Photograph)
Number 9: Another-Place
In some ways this isn’t a post about photography, but about senses, and how big a pull they can have on our memories; the smell of freshly-cut hay on a warm summers day can intertwine with a persons own distant consciousness, taking you back to a place you left long ago, a place you never thought you would visit again, except in your dreams.
The smell of the hay hit me like a time-travelling telegram, a telegram sent by a me long ago to the me of the present; reminding myself of all the things I enjoyed back then. Growing up close to farmland I was lucky to spend my summers in such locations, going for long purposeless walks with friends, fishing, exploring, bike-riding; stopping to lie in the grass to chat and fool around. Sometimes there were girls too, the first tentative explorations into young love, all of these things came flooding back in the micro-second after smelling that cut-hay whilst out hiking with Kes recently.
I could have stood leaning against the fence, staring out at that scene all day, soaking up the vista, and more importantly, the redolence (makes me wish that such a thing as smell-ography was a real thing); moments like these put you in a place where the present world, with all its problems and concerns simply don’t exist; transported as you are to another-place, a place of endless hope and opportunity, of youthful bounty and carefree-ness. I have sometimes wondered if it would be possible to take a series of photographs based purely on memories, photographs that somehow encapsulates what distant times felt like, to capture all the emotions, feelings and hopes of days past? This image would be a good start I guess…
… a message/gift from myself sent long ago.