Edward Burtynsky: Incoa abandoned mineshaft, ontario
Time, America teaches, is in short supply. Watch the anxious and now near-universal reaching for the Blackberry, or similar device, as planes land in the United States. The frenzied tapping of e-mail messages spells out a familiar refrain: Time is money. Italy has another view: Time is all you have on Earth.
When that time is over, your time, other generations will follow, with their own preoccupations and dreams. The world may look different, but it will not be as different as it seems. It was an Italian who concluded that everything changed so that everything could remain the same. Somewhere in that view lies a deep humanity.
America disconcerts. Your favorite restaurant is no more, gone in the night. The Pan Am sign disappears from Park Avenue. Pan Am itself disappears, for God’s sake. Enron evaporates. Families disintegrate. General Motors loses billions. Mom gets packed off to a home. Nothing is still, least of all your credit rating.
Then you return to Italy and everything and everybody seem to be where you left them, give or take a death or two. This familiarity reassures. It imbues time with a gentler quality and suggests that, if nothing else, we can all grow old together. What you have seems less important than who you have.
Roger Cohen: In touch with time, like there’s no tomorrow (sub only)