A stream


My little stream (Bear River, Nova Scotia)

Just a short note to explain why the title words of my blog site are “shadow of the stream”. I grew up (ages 10 to 18) in a small town in Nova Scotia called Bear River, needless to say, a most beautiful place. Beside our house was a stream lined with young maple trees. I would spend many days climbing the trees and looking at the stream, loving the sound and the relative seclusion. Some years later, while studying for final exams at McGill University (Montreal), I had a dream where a man in a suit was holding up a book entitled “The Shadow of the Stream”. I woke up thinking that it must have been a sign, I liked streams and I liked writing, so one day I was to write that book.

The idea of the shadow of a stream popped into my mind again when I was at a QS conference, and we were thinking about how to quantify everything around us. One could think of a stream of events, a stream of consciousness, a stream of data. But really streams have no shadow, so the idea requires some imagination, something ephimeral, hard to describe or hold. In the end I think all this life logging and self quantifying attemps to describe or grasp that shadow of time going by. This day leaves a shadow, however slight, on my life, things learned or felt or done. I don’t need an exact description of everything that happened, but maybe something more than nothing, a feeling of how life is being lived.

I had the chance to revisit my home town last summer, with my family, and decided to leave my narrative camera by the stream, clicking away. I joined a few photos from that day together in a video, if you would like to see it, just hours passing by at the stream. You can see some shadows too.


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