The buzzword of our day is disruption, as in upending the established order in favor of something better. (Or at least something new, and at some point we’ll assess whether it worked out).
These paired images aren’t disruptive though. To the contrary. Like any photos, they freeze time in digestible little nuggets. And like Then and Now work by Irina Werning or Chris Porsz, they have that magnetic, bookending quality. They’re not disruptive because they affirm that there’s an arc to life, a trajectory with stability and integrity. Of course that’s rarely the case — we’re not seeing the zigzags, the reversals, and the potholes between each image. And we’re not seeing anything without an arc.
What we are seeing, in highly curated form, is an ideal. We’re seeing either a first meeting, first date, or wedding day. Then we’re seeing happily ever after. The recreation of the moment puts the entire arc in context, making it instantly recognizable — if not desirable. Because disruption has no arc, and there’s something in a human heart that craves an arc.
Meditating on these images, doesn’t it seem as though the assessment of whether things worked out is baked in? That congratulations are in order? Good job, guys: the odds were steep, but you did it. And in doing it, you affirm it can be done. Someplace, there’s an eye to the storm. No place for disruption here.