... it occurs to me that what Salter is actually writing about is the way we walk through our memories like a stranger in a forgotten town.
“The myriad past, it enters us and disappears,” he writes. “Except that within it, somewhere, like diamonds, exist the fragments that refuse to be consumed. Sifting through … one discovers the true design.”Which design helps one makes some, if, sometimes, only little, sense of the present, as well as the past of all those long-ago other times that came before us.
I have felt this way myriad times in the places that are old and brimming with the past. I don't know about Salter, but for me though, they have to be places about which I bring a great deal of knowledge already acquired about the place's past. But however this takes possession of the visitor, these are the memories of the place that do not fade. Personal memory overlain on historical memory. History embedded in geography. Essential for historians or anyone who assumes to write of past times, places and people.
A place where I had the experience described above, the Cisalpine (South-east French and North-west Italian coasts) Provençal French village perché of le Bar-sur-loup, in a range of Alps above Nice.
The photos in the NY Times piece would have appeared quite different to me if I had not spent so many hours walking in le Bar-sur-loup and taking my own photos.
I've had those fizzing electric sensations in, among other places, New England, Europe, the upper and lower South, the Caribbean, England, France, and often in various sections of New York City. This allows me the freedom to write of these places.