Friday, December 29, 2006

Leaves, left


Traces on Dufferin Road
London, Ontario, December 2006

Everywhere I walk in the historic neighborhood near my office, I come across imprints of leaves that months ago fell to the ground before disappearing for good. Correction, the leaves may have disappeared, but their traces live on in the ghostly acid-washed sidewalk images left behind by a warm, wet autumn.

It's enough to remind me that history has a way of keeping us honest, for just because something no longer exists doesn't mean that it can't impact your life in some small way.

Your turn: Do you believe that the ghosts of the past can influence our present and future? Does history matter to you?

16 comments:

Cyndy said...

History matters alot to me. I think we have difficulty moving forward without learning from our past.
In a comical light though...we've learned alot THIS blizzard from the one LAST week!! :)

Anonymous said...

You can't know who you are today without reflecting and learning from your past. Don't memories and expereinces build on next?

Anonymous said...

history matters a great deal to me. We should be more cognizant of the steps taken in the past in order to allow lessons learned to impact our present and future decisions.

As far as familial history......familial ghosts....oh, yes! Have you ever watched a newborn looking out from their bassinets or when they are sitting up in a carseat...how they stare out into the space making many different facial expressions? It always seemed to me that they were communicating :)
My theory is that this is when the "ancesters" come for a peak at their newbie........to welcome them and to tell them that they are loved.

Beautiful photo. It does offer up warmth.

Nana said...

What a beautiful picture. Yes, history matters a great deal to me. Every time I pass an old abandoned house I wonder who lived there, what their dreams were, what they were like. I do believe it impacts us as well. As Santayana said: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Anonymous said...

Not only do I believe that history can influence our present and future, I hope to God that it does! History matters a great deal. As Spanish philosopher George Santayana said:

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

'Nuff said.

Mike

kenju said...

History matters a lot. How can we know where we are going if we don't know where we have been? That said, I hated studying history in school, unless it had to do with ancient Egypt or Greece.

I notice the shadows of leaves on pavement also, and I always think taht they improve the appearance of the street or sidewalk...LOL

scrappintwinmom said...

Let me answer your question with a resounding YES. For me, its usually my personal ghosts that I worry most about. Just stopping by to wish you a HAPPY New Year!

MissMeliss said...

History matters, and yes, it informs and influences our present. Currently, I'm intrigued by ghost signs - faded lettering on old warehouses.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Without history we have no identity... to judge our lives against-

This reminds me of how I used to love exploring the pre-historic fish-fossels in the granite fireplace of my Aunt's northern Vermont home- always kept me wondering, lookin, n dreaming about how it was-

a great capture of a sidewalk etching! (recent past fossils-)

sage said...

history better matter, or I wasted way to many years in institutions of learning and in libraries writing papers and a dissertation...

I am reminded of a quote from one of Marx's lesser known works that goes something like "The past weighs like a nightmare on the minds of the living." I'm not so sure it's always a nightmare, but it certainly does have impact.

Neat picture.

Two Sirius said...

Happy Saturday to you!

History is insignificant only to the short-sighted. It's the only way we have to gauge our future.

panthergirl said...

This is so interesting... I've never seen imprints like that before. Maybe that's because we have no sidewalks here, but I did grow up in the city and I never saw them there either.

I'm probably TOO focused on the ghosts of the past, as you can tell from my blog, but I do think they provide a self-awareness that is invaluable. I don't want to repeat the mistakes of my parents, so I have to keep my [painful] memories fresh.

Here via michele, and a Happy New Year to you!

Anonymous said...

we're too dumb to learn from history, in my opinion...

otherwise, after the first 'war' one caveman would tell the others, "well, that sucked. let's never do it again."

i do still enjoy reading about the daily miserable existences of our ancestors, though.

p

David said...

very cool

carli said...

Our personal ghosts can serve to haunt us or to remind us not to repeat former bad behavior.

History itself is very important, especially when someone tries to spin an event from the past to justify the present. I was just watching the MacLaughlin group. Someone suggested that the Iraq quagmire was similar to the Allied forces setbacks in mid-WWII. It's important to know the facts so as not to be brainwashed by such nonsense.

srp said...

First, I love this picture. I don't think I've ever seen the "ghosts" of leaves on pavement before.

Some ghosts from our past, at least past experiences are important to help us learn from mistakes. Some, on the other hand, only serve to mire us down in the "what might have beens" and hold us back. The wisdom to know which ghosts to use and keep and which to dispense with is the challenging part.

History is very important for our futures..... at least it is to the extent we refuse to let people re-write it or try to sanitize it.

Happy New Year!