From: "Practicing a Quiet Art," by Garth Glazier
Memory is a peculiar thing. It is both essential and at best, unreliable. As my grandfather once said, on one of the long walks we took when I was a boy, “I have forgotten more than I ever learned.” The statement was made casually and the words seemed to drift to the ground like some strange winged seeds blown from the branches of a distant and mysterious tree. For years, the significance of these words remained an enigma to me. Now that I am approaching my grandfather’s age, the meaning is becoming clearer. Returning to the places where we walked, the words float in the air, reminding me of how the passage of time changes perception. Like a clutch of seeds gently waiting for their day in the light, the meaning has emerged, sprouted, and taken hold. As I go forward, walking the now invisible paths we traveled, the clash between my memory of these places and the reality I find, presents a world of radical change.
This new world is the sum total of a transformed landscape. It is a landscape in which forest gave way to farmland, farmland was enveloped by thriving city, and growing city was subsumed by economic decline and urban decay. It is a familiar story in the American Midwest, but what is not so familiar is the rising and falling fortune of the trees that also inhabited these transformed worlds. For me, trees can still tell the story of this transformation by giving us a living connection with the past and transcending the more cosmetic changes to the landscape brought about by development and economic growth.
And so it is that I travel the garden paths of city and country with a camera in hand recording the changes. A few of the things I have found are here. Some were just outside my door and some were far away. They are all part of my small attempt to record moments of light and shadow that moved me.