ETYMOLOGY of MORII
From 'memento mori,' a small reminder of your mortality + ‘torii,’ the traditional Japanese gates that mark the threshold between the profane and the sacred. If you think of every moment as another step on the long path to forgetting everything, a snapshot is a gate on that journey, a vibrant acknowledgement that something has changed. I remember walking through the long winding tunnels of torii gates in Kyoto—a surreal and oddly touching experience, which I found almost impossible to convey in a photograph.
-- John Koenig
Strange how strong the instinct is, to see something incredible, and reach for a camera. As if to lend it some credibility, to prove that it's real, that 'I WAS HERE.'
We live our lives in moments. Those rare experiences we stop to notice, and carry with us, in the hopes of stringing them together, trying to tell a story. But even in the moment, you can feel it start to fade. So you try to capture it, and convert it into something that will last longer than just a flash. And over time a photo feels more real than it's subject. It lets you build a version of the world that you can take with you. A world flattened, and simple. A world that doesn't change. That fits in the frame. A little brighter and more colorful. With everything under control. You can travel the globe looking for memories, and still find yourself standing behind a camera waiting for the world to hold still. With every click of the shutter, you're trying to press Pause on your life. If only so you can feel a little more comfortable moving on living in a world stuck on Play. A part of you knows you can't take it with you but that doesn't stop you from trying. "What if I could stay just a little longer?" "What if we didn't have to go?" We try to capture moments as if we're afraid they'll escape, but they'll get away eventually. Take one last look. One more shot. So years from now you can flip back through, and try to relive it all over again. But maybe even then, you'll be thinking to yourself, "Ah well. I guess you had to be there."
- John Koenig