Some general thoughts about the Diaries...
Whats past is prologue says Antonio in
Yet the past moves from us so quickly it disappears before we have time
to realise the truth of these words. Without assistance, how much would
you remember of your own past, let alone that of your parents and grandparents?
And yet whats past really is future. It may seem a foreign country,
but it is often recognisable, and it often contains something of our own
actions and ideas that we did not realise were there.
Memory is strange. What do we retain - and why? Once memory would have
been raw and undiluted by any transmission other than the spoken word.
Then pen and paper intervened. Now we have the visual - in all its many
manifestations. Watch someone taking a photo. What will memory make of
this event, and how will the image impinge upon it? How do we read a photo
after the memory of its contents fades?
Look at the photo of the children in the stream.
We see an almost idyllic image - a crystallisation of everything we have
been led to believe about that Edwardian summer before the war exploded
its innocence. It feels rural. It looks wonderful. But what is happening
just outside this frame in 1912? And what is happening further afield?
This photo is a captured micro-second. For
all time, we can ponder on the two children caught in the stream, building
their dam. And for all time the older more coquettish girl with her books,
her long hair and her knowing smile will look directly into the camera
as if to address us, but without words, with a silence that is deafening,
and has become more so the further she moves from us.
And as they all move away from us into the darkness, what will we retain?
What can we recapture?
Wynnes Diary catalogues a very ordinary life, doing very ordinary
things. Because she left us this record, I thought to use it to retrieve
her in some small measure - to recreate her voice so that we could meet
and listen to her again. Can we recapture her?
You will re-enter a vanished world, with different values and a very different
landscape. It is her world, and thus a partial one. But it was a real
world, recorded during a period of enormous transition.
This site is an effort to harness a new power to the service of one life.
Come and live it again.