The Art of Memory

I've been taking a few time travel trips the last few days. Yes, I have finally made it around to clearing the clutter of my family photos. Some years ago I took photos out of old albums, the ones that were going sticky with age, and had been meaning to sort them out.

Anyhow... the last few days I've finally faced my nemesis, and have successfully managed to get them into some semblance of order. In the process, I've been contemplating memory and creativity, and how to get my memories into some type of artful arrangement. Which in turn led to googling, as you do, on memory. I invite you to contemplate The Art of Memory with me.

The relationship between memory and creativity is even enshrined in the mythology of the ancient Greeks. ~ Daniel Kilov.

Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory
~ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

In his TED talk you'll hear Daniel mention, The Goddess Mnemosyne. I'd never heard of her before so I went in search of an image, and discovered this beautiful one by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Oh to be able to paint like the old masters. In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the daughter of the Titans, Uranus and Gaia and mother of the muses, the Greek Goddesses of creativity.

Sorting Through My Memories

The memory keepers of old only had their stories to pass down the generations, to keep the his-tory the her-story alive. I wonder today if our memories aren't getting a little less workouts because of our digital age. I don't know about you, but my phone stores my memories in the form of images, stores my phone numbers, and so many other things. I no longer work my brain to remember my phone numbers as my phone does it all for me, and I wonder sometimes, if it is really good for my brain.

And then, I appreciate the moments that I have been able to keep alive through my camera. Moments that I can walk down memory lane again, and time travel to another moment, away from now.

It's interesting how a photo can bring back a flood of memories. This quirky whale lived at a house just around the corner from my inlaws. I always wanted to see it's mouth empty for a photo shoot, but it was always full of junk mail.

Just beyond that whale, lies a pathway that winds through braken fern, that leads you down to Middle Harbour. Once there was an old swimming pool, but sadly after it fell into dissaray, was dismantled. The photos here, are ones just prior to it being lost forever.

Many delightful swims were had in that old pool. Mind you, you had to be careful of the oyster shells, all at once tempting you to eat them, while being to scared to.

Then there's the time that my brother in law took a delight-filled dive in from that wall there, only to remember midway through the dive, that he'd left his car keys in his board shorts.

The car keys were the electronic type. The ones that won't work once wet. Well I'd never seen someone pause mid air before, but when he realised what he'd done. He did. He paused, he grabbed at his shorts, yelled, 'Oh _ _ _ _, no' and then fell in. It was fascinating. I had that interesting combination of alternating concern and raucous amusement.

Photos can bring back so many memories, funny, sad, tender. As my husband and I looked at old family dvd's we realised how they'd also captured moments of local history. Clontarf in the early 1960's before the hills were covered in what are now multi million dollar homes. I have to say that we did spend a few wishful moments willing ourselves back in the time to purchase some of those blocks of land.

Did it work, that wishful thinking? Perhaps if I see you at Clonnie pool one day, I'll let you know, but more likely I'd best keep that to myself. Where would you go if you could travel with your memories? Would you buy blocks of land, or go and talk to someone? I'd love to hear where your muses take you.

The true art of memory
is the art of attention.

~ Samuel Johnson.