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Can somebody help me to understand what this sentence is trying to reveal?

"So these photos are far more than proxies for a single moment, or even a specific trip. They're also ways for us to freeze time for one week in October and reflect on our times and how we change from year to year, and not just physically, but in every way."

What I understand is the following:

The photos are not just the photos of a single trip or some specific trip. These photos are actually a medium (or stuff) which allows us a free week of October where we can really go back in to our past with the pictures to observe how we change from year to year, not only physically but also in attitude.

I would appreciate if you can explain me line by line so that I can follow. Thanks is advance.

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@KristinaLopez This is the video I was watching and trying to translate in my language ted.com/talks/… –  Deepak Feb 2 '13 at 19:18
    
It's a poetic comment -- that's why it repeats itself so much -- so make it poetic in your language (Hindi? Tamil? Pashto?). –  John Lawler Feb 2 '13 at 19:24
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@deepak, that is a good understanding! The one line that struck me as a bit symbolic was "how we change from year to year, and not just physically, but in every way." - which I interpret to mean that everything about the picture, including the expressions on their faces and the activities they were engaged in will have different meaning to them in the future, when they reflect back on that point in time. –  Kristina Lopez Feb 2 '13 at 19:37
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I have taken the liberty of incorporating your reading into the question, so that readers may see immediately where difficulties may lie. –  StoneyB Feb 2 '13 at 20:11
    
@StoneyB, Thanks. I appreciate that. –  Deepak Feb 4 '13 at 1:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The only possible misunderstanding I can detect in your reading is this:

... which allows us a free week of October ...

This suggests that you are confusing freeze with some sense of free. However, freeze means literally "to convert a liquid into a solid through cold" or, metaphorically, to "prevent from flowing, to arrest or immobilize".

The author says that the photographs metaphorically prevented time from flowing beyond that time at which they were taken: the past is "frozen", held immobile, like a fly in amber, so that we can discern the differences between Then and Now.

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TED: "So these photos are far more than proxies for a single moment, or even a specific trip."

ME: So these photos mean far more to my daughter and me than single moments or specific trips.

TED: "They're also ways for us to freeze time for one week in October..."

ME: They're also a way for my daughter and me to capture one moment we are together each year in October...

TED: "and reflect on our times and how we change from year to year, and not just physically, but in every way."

ME: and to reflect on how we change over time, physically and in every way.

Hope this helps you.

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Thanks guys. This helps me to understand the presenter. I think what the author is saying makes perfectly sense to me now. Thanks everyone. –  Deepak Feb 4 '13 at 1:34

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