Don’t forget to remember

inks, stenciled shapes and numbers (light molding paste), collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

don’t  forget to remember
says elephant

remember what?
says i
are three heads better than one?
better than two parrots?
better than none?

remember what?
asks i
the whys and wherefors?
the meaning of life?
the bananas on the grocery list?
the appointment to take my mother-in-law shopping tomorrow?

i can remember 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6
but sometimes it’s good to remember
the name of that last book i read. .

Lately I’ve been reading about memory – how it works and how to improve it, though I have yet to launch on that particular self improvement path.  I guess I never really considered why the mother of the nine Muses in Greek mythology would be named Mnemosyne (memory), suggesting that perhaps the connection between an agile memory and creative ability are inextricably linked.  It makes sense that the more choices one has, the more mentally archived material one has readily available, the richer the creative production.

What am I reading you ask?  Well, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer at the moment, but you can be sure I’ve ordered more memory books from the library.  Yet another avenue to pursue in the relentless pursuit of creative excellence!  I must start building my memory palaces soon. Ah! maybe that’s what these art journal pieces are – elaborate memory palaces to archive thoughts, feelings, impressions in a way that cannot be forgotten!

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6 comments

  1. I think I may need to get my hands on this book you cited here. I definitely find this extremely interesting (especially since as of late, I find my memory quite unreliable.)

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  2. The Renaissance memory palaces of Giordano Bruno and others have always fascinated me. The system is based on associations. I think I would get so lost and enchanted in the palace that I might forget the factual associations linked to the objects in the rooms! Good point about Memory being the mother of the Muses. The Memory Palace suggests that architecture is a good metaphor for memory. “My Father’s mansion has many rooms” from the Bible, etc.

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    1. THis memory technique is based on first committing to memory a large number of places in great detail (memory palaces) and then placing the items you want to remember in colorful sensory detail at various locii in your palace where you can retrieve them later, a practice that supposedly anyone can learn. . .but really, do we have time?

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