March of Time


How does one measure the passage of time? If you're a parent, a child is your yardstick. You only have to observe a child as he grows into adulthood to see the effects of time in its full human embodiment. And when grandchildren appear, that original yardstick suddenly sprouts another. Perhaps it's my peculiar French philosophical bent, but I've always been curious about the passage of time. In my art and my writing, I've explored the nature of time (and time in nature). But my maternal response to the conundrum of measuring time has been to save my son's shoes. I admit I also saved the best toys (which are now being enjoyed by the new generation), but saving shoes had a purpose. The shoes were the perfect symbol of the ground covered in living life, and since my son went through them so quickly, there were a lot of them. Very early in his life, I envisioned a photograph that would hint at this process, so I surreptitiously collected the discarded footwear. The box of shoes, clearly marked, sat on a shelf in the basement until this Thanksgiving, when I was able to ask my patient son if I could borrow his legs and feet. He humored me, and in a short time, I had several shots to work with. This is perhaps a photograph only a mother can love, but making it brought me a moment of laughter and connection with my son. Beyond measure.