A Snapshot in Time

  • It is said that in the early days of photography, the North American Indians used to shy away from this technology in the belief that the strange contraption taking their picture was stealing their spirit.  Of course, these days, we know such superstitions to be untrue but photography has provided us with countless snapshots in time

    I started thinking about this when I stumbled across a post on one of the many Regimental Groups on Facebook the other day.  Somebody had scanned an old picture from their days in a certain Army unit and posted it to the group.  Thus ensued a lot of argument as to what year it was and who was in the picture.  Clearly, the individual hadn’t thought to write the date of the photo which he’d obviously come across whilst turning out some old boxes or albums and the picture was taken before the days of digital where there is often a time stamp saved with the picture.  So although the photograph did provide physical evidence of certain people in a certain place, the evidence was incomplete through the lack of a date!

    The members of the group were having to rely on memory as to when this picture might have been taken.  Now the memory is a wonderful thing.  It quite simply remembers everything about us.  From the time of conception right up to the here and now.  Barring Traumatic Brain  Injury (TBI) or disease, there is no such thing as a bad memory.  Bad recall perhaps, but not bad memory.  So why the difficulty in nailing down a date in the above example?  Simply because our memories aren’t indexed chronologically.  We had no concept of time of  time, the alphabet, numbers or any other indexing system when we where conceived.  So the only way our minds could index our memories is by emotion.  Happy memories, sad memories, jealous memories, the whole range!  That is why when we recall a happy memory for example, the emotion associated with it come back too and we might start to smile or laugh.

    I even had one client recently who’s timeline of his life was a complete mess!  It was only when cause and effect was pointed out that he began to realise that certain events in his life couldn’t have happened when he thought they’d happened.

    God forbid we ever do invent time travel!  Just imagine what a mess that would cause!!!


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