Maybe why I love taking photos is because for me it is one way of concentrating on the present moment; of capturing what time we have to play with, what little time we have at our disposal at any given moment; the time in the gap.

St Kilda beach
painted butterfly on ‘dinosaur park’ playground wall St Kilda Dunedin
painting of calico cat on St Kilda playground wall – this cat used to visit the playground, so the artist incorporated it into the mural
mid-winter surprise Portobello Road Dunedin
sharks on Portobello Road mural Dunedin
wild flowers on bank Portobello Road Dunedin
bluestone house Portobello Road Dunedin
caged green – backlit leaves
red geranium – summer survivor

The last two days in my small city we’ve been blessed with clear, sunny and mostly still weather, even though it’s winter. Winter has worn itself out from behaving badly. But I have no illusions about this present state of bliss being sustained. There will be more wintry mischief yet before spring arrives.

I’ve been thinking of portals and time. Something about the things that stopped me in my tracks in the last two days and asked me to take their photo, reminded me of portals.

For example, the butterflies that came across my middle-winter (one painted, one real) which appeared to offer a portal back into the past summer.

I’ve heard time described in several different ways lately. As an hour glass being one, with the past the sand lying at the bottom of the glass and the future, the sand at the top, yet to fall.

Staying with the hour-glass theory, the present becomes the tiny gap in the middle, its sole purpose to be a portal for the sand to pass through. The smaller the gap the better, but whatever the size, the trick is to concentrate on the gap (mind the gap) because there is zilch to be done about what is yet to come or what has already happened. So why waste time trying? Better to put any best efforts into enjoying the present moment, rather than wasting energy (and time) uselessly batting at shifting grains of sand.

Photons are the only time travellers. That is something I’ve learned lately, not that I understand either the how or the why. I just liked the pretty illustrations on the site I read up about them and the idea of non-time and non-distance and how that changes perception. In case you have a better brain for such things, here is one link that refers to that subject.


Writer from Dunedin, New Zealand.

One thought on “Portals

  1. Your photos of the murals are also portals, taking me back to our visit to NZ! We were well prepared for most aspects of our visit, but the prevalence and quality of the murals scattered across Aotearoa was completely unexpected and a real joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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