I visited the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1982 to see a Kandinsky exhibition. But it was the architecture of the museum which struck a deep chord. I was with a friend, going round the show at different speeds, and it was looking down to see where she was that it suddenly struck me: this building is a metaphor for life. I was looking back at where I had been; even my friend was part of my past: she was a colleague from my previous job.
It was even clear that as one progresses, the perspective looking back changes. Not everything can be seen clearly. Recently, presently, I have been using the spiral to look back. For instance, in trying to clarify how to move on with my work, I am first looking back at what I have done to get here in my work blog.
Last year I interrupted my flow of work to look back in a different way. I had reached a point where there are now memories that only I have, and I have photographs of people who are now only known to me, so I decided to put together a book for my great niece explaining who all these folks are, their characters, and how they are related to each other and to her. I also included anecdotes, some of which were illustrated by the photographs.
A book of photos with text is so much easier to dip into than a box full of snaps - or even a photo album. So much more than simple, or even lengthy captions can be put into the text of a book. Photobox was having a sale last autumn, so I took the opportunity.
I so regret not asking more questions of all my relations when I was young, especially as both my grandmothers' generation had lived through so much history - the wars, the migrations, etc., and so many changes. I wanted to do a little bit to pass on my own memories of individuals and incidents, so that perhaps the youngsters would be prompted to ask me further questions while I am still around and capable of answering!