036 | Words :: Hallstatt, Austria, 2016

I found this wonderful staircase in Hallstatt, Austria with the words “time travel” in many languages. The Chinese translation a bit off. It actually says “time remembrance” instead.

I thought it was a fitting photo for this project, as I dig up all these little gems from my memory.

Speaking of time travel, I watched the movie Mr. Nobody yesterday. It follows the life of Nemo, whose choices lead him down three very different paths. The storytelling is confusing. It’s like the director just cut up the pieces of his lives, threw them in the air, and added all the clips into one edit without bothering to arrange them in a reasonable fashion. Well, maybe not that bad, but it was difficult to follow at times. There are some deep topics, like quantum mechanics, time travel, the meaning of life, and of course, love.

At the end of the movie, I didn’t get much clarity about what happened. But I did feel that it is indeed amazing to be alive, and that no matter what choices we make, where the road leads, whether we experience pain or happiness, life is still incredibly worth living. It is said that human beings are the only creatures that can ask the question “what if” and live out those scenarios in our minds. This power has brought us much fear, yet along with it much hope. As we walk the tightrope between hope and fear, a life is lived.

I’ll end with this quote from Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (even though I actually quite like the old translation of its name, Remembrance of Things Past):

“We passionately long that there may be another life in which we shall be similar to what we are here below. But we do not pause to reflect that, even without waiting for that other life, in this life, after a few years we are unfaithful to what we have been, to what we wished to remain immortally.”

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