On memory and time


It’s a funny thing, memory. I have no idea when I took this shot, except it was some time between 2014 and 2018. And I’m too lazy to dive into the catalogue to check it.

But I know exactly where I was standing when I took it: On Stamford Rd in City Hall, waiting for the lights to change at the Victoria Rd intersection. Flemming and I had been walking aimlessly around town in the middle of the day, as we often did when here for long stretches. That day we’d meandered our way from the main drag of Orchard Road, towards Marina Bay. We were sweaty as all hell, but that’s a normal state of being here.

I remember spaces and places and situation. But pegging them in time has always been difficult. There’s no point, when you’re adrift. One day mergers into another, a week becomes a month, a year, a decade.

I count my age by twelve month cycles by tradition and practicality. The age I feel is mutable—some days weigh a century, and on others I am five years old, awash in the bright bubble of the world.

It’s been 21 years since I left Singapore to live elsewhere. More than half my life. Often, it feels like 2 decades have passed. But also like I’ve been nowhere at all.

Time has little meaning outside of administration. When doesn’t seem to matter when there’s no where, what, how or why. Circumstance is the real milestone.