Ephemeral Ephemora

“Ephemoral”: from the Greek meaning ‘for the day’, ‘living only for a day’, ‘short lived’.

Ephemora”: 14th century medical term for short-lived fever that became the word for short-lived insects and flowers, and moved from there to a ‘thing that is transitory’.

Two years ago I went on a road trip, the memory of which lives on in my photographs. It took me from a beach on which countless footprints have been made. Like memory, the footprints are ephemeral. Like memory, they can be washed away in time – lost in the mists.

Sand PrintsThat road trip took me to a place the memory of which goes back to the beginning of human history. There I saw a boy, perhaps five years old, running on a mound. Only one foot is solidly in the here and now, for the rest of him is already moving forward as he runs and creates his own memory of that day.

Here TodayHe’s running on cliffs that have beckoned those on the Continent since time immemorial. Today’s town will be tomorrow’s ruin and, eventually, may become a part of the fabric of the cliffs. Today, they are bathed in mist and sunlight.

White Cliffs MomentTomorrow life must continue, so we get back in the car to drive home. The weather turned and the sunlight of the White Cliffs becomes a memory, a moment fleeting through my imagination. As usual, I have my camera at the ready in case something catches my eye as we drive. I like the challenge of getting a good photograph in these circumstances. The world becomes truly ephemeral, momentary, fleeting as you try to capture what you see. At first I thought it was a trick of light on the windshield.

FlashThen, I realised that it was a rainbow, partially hidden in the clouds. Itself ephemeral, whispy. Rainbows are made of light. Light is intangible. Ephemeral.

Momentary GlimpseThe rainbow disappears, becomes a memory as we drive into misty rain. I take a few photos of the effect as the cars on the motorway pick up the moisture. This one makes me think of a temporal anomaly. Everything solidly shudders, becomes unreal. Shimmers.

Shimmer in TimeAnd we wake up in another time. Another memory. It beckons us through the gate. Unreal. Ephemeral. Waiting for us to believe.

Time is FleetingWe are ephemeral. Our lives are a drop in the mist of the memories we create. These photographs, digital, light, unreal recreations of reality, of memory. Ephemera of time.

For more ephemera, go to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Ephemeral.”

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