“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind”
T.S. Eliot: Burnt Norton, Four Quartets
A reflection on the enduring human ability to process change. What do we do when the threads that tied us to both our history and our future are broken?
Throughout our lives relationships change, with people and places, making us reassess who we are and where we’ve come from. Often accompanied by feelings of loss and grief, for the future that will no longer be, and for a past that is rewritten.
This work engages with connections and transitions: between people, places, things; between memory and time; of goodbyes and new beginnings, pre-mourning something that is about to be lost.
‘Oikos’ refers to the family, the family’s property, and the Home. As concepts they are distinct but also perpetually combined, impossible to separate. In clearing out my father’s house, my family home, I was given opportunity to consider the boundaries and ties to places and things and their tie to both personal and family identity. Memory can be fluid, suggestable and unreliable, biased by what happens in the following years and but yet they shape us.
An action that would normally be undertaken after death has allowed a consideration of mortality and of what we leave behind. And when we examine what is left behind, what memories and histories do we find? What do ‘things’ tell us when no one is left to tell the stories.
Quietly things fade out of existence, until they remain only in our memories.