+ July 18, 2018 Morning Thoughts
When we reach back into our earliest days, we are rewarded with picture, and context. Our memories are made of the stuff. There is the glory of sunlit reality, and an unfolding narrative to help capture it within our being. We ponder.
Our memories are made of story: picture, and narrative. That is how we understand, and the layering of stories is how we begin to think.
I watch my granddaughter watch her cartoons. The joy she gets from it is, in fact, the joy of learning. Watching a cartoon or so alongside her, I get to see what she is being taught (in all its glorious and sometimes alarming detail, I might add!)
Wars are about story. Who gets to frame the narratives, and thus, control the outcomes?
We humans learn by picture (visual) and story (auditory). Here is where art comes in. Art is a blend of picture and story. It is a specific manipulation of visual cues (or in the case of music, auditory cues) that communicates idea or feeling. It attempts to encapsulate and form a memory. It uses the retrieval of memory—or layers of memory–as one of its tools.
Memories are deposited by means of picture and story. A feeling, for example, must have its accompanying picture and context to be stored, I think. Memory is also how we open the store of memories, our tools of life. We remember. I am saying memory is made of art and story: picture and context. This is a broad definition of “art”, I’m aware. It is a framing of a moment in time, or a momentary idea, or a momentary feeling, that has been arranged, filtered, and tagged appropriately, so it can be retrieved. When it is also curated (more narrowly) into the form of a poem, a picture, a song, a dance, a novel, memory also becomes accessible not only to ourselves, but by others in our human family.
Like memory itself, the internet is both a storehouse and a doorway into the grand mystery of memory. The internet is a human tool, and also a creative work of human beings. It describes the human mystery, but itself is quite mundane and understandable. It is like an airplane resembling a flying insect, in respect to its ability to fly, only. The internet is a work of human ingenuity, but it is less than the totality of a single human being!
Remember that! The internet—the entirety of it—is, in truth, no bigger than the view from your back porch, and no less ephemeral. It is a hugely important tool, this sharing of human memories that is faster, more interactive, and in some ways grander than a library, a gallery, a concert. As this day passes into either nothingness or history, depending on human recording of it in some form, so the entire internet could vanish by an electronic pulse from without, or by a powerful dictator’s jealous whim.
I will create my art, and tell my stories. In some way I will add to the human memory what I see and value: how some portion of it looks to me–while I have time.