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remembering the future
Saturday Kiff's dad and his wife came to town and we went for dim sum and walked around the market. We dropped by to visit Dave at the gallery where he is working and I got a chance to look at the show - great mixed media - paintings and old photographs with text that merged seamlessly.

It reminded me that I used to collect old photographs and letters and menus that belonged to strangers from 100 years ago. I was a weird kid. I liked to buy jewellery that was inscribed for people I'd never met. Found objects, many of them were on sale in a certain bookstore I loved as a teenager - a great, high-ceilinged institution on Spadina Avenue.

When we got home, I showed those objects to Kiff. I separated them into themed piles and started to construct narratives for them, for fun, the way I used to as a kid. Kiff, who is always a willing conspirator in any creative endeavour, brought out a long clip frame for me and we started to arrange them on the surface.

A love letter from a semi-literate lover. An old pair of ladies at a summer house with a union jack on the wall. A telegram. A menu from a train (no alchoholic beverages sold while in North Dakota), an army registration card from June 1918. Paraphenalia from across Canada, from the 1890's to the 1950's. We assembled a collage of them behind a glass clip frame and hung them on the wall. Maybe I will find a way to scan them and post it here.

I am not sure what it is that is so compelling about object of meaning or letters written by someone born a century before you, but it has something to do with narratives and remembering something you never witnessed, or feeling something particular, familiar about the future, which also feels like a memory (though not a premonition). (At this point I would like to pontificate about my theory about the relationship between our sense of time and memory and creativity, but I tried in an earlier draft, and it didn't come out right)

My friend Mark says he had the chance to speak with the physicist Brian Greene about cosmology. If time is not linear, he asked, "then why don't we remember the future?"

Greene replied that we do remember the future (and forgive me, mark, as I extrapolate a bit) but we do not experience those memories the way you'd imagine. Maybe an example is that strangely familiar feeling of when you meet someone you later fall in love with.

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