Archive for May 24th, 2012

Every man’s memory is his private literature.

Aldous Huxley
I like this quote from Huxley.  I have often felt that all of our personal lives fit into some sort of mythic template on which all literature is based and that we often fail to see the connections between the tales of our own lives and those stories which have come down through history in the form of myth and legend.  We all live lifes that are often filled with tragedy , comedy and drama.  Heroic, even.  But we seldom perceive them as such, instead thinking of our personal memories as being merely mundane. 
And that’s probably as it should be.  Life is spent, for the most part, moving forward in small, day-to-day steps with little time left to see the larger pattern of our lives.  Who has the time to reflect backwards, to see how our lives fit into the templates of eternity?  Very few of us, to be sure.  But what if we could take that time to look back fully and see the patterns set in history and to see that our lives own patterns mesh into that pattern, that we are all indeed connected to and part of the same fabric?
Would it make a bit of difference?  Would it make us appreciate the fragility and rareness of  each individual’s place in this world. make us understand that our own history is the history of all and that our memory binds us to the fabric of history?
I don’t know.  But it’s something to think about.
Funny how the mind works.  I meant to write about the painting above, a new piece  called Distant Memory (  10″ by 16″ on paper) set for my Principle Gallery show early next month and suddenly find myself off on a theoretical journey.  Maybe its the way the foreground of the painting, with the converging rows of the field,  relates to the house and tree across the water in the upper half of the painting.  I get a sense of looking back from the present, taking a pause from the labor of the moment,  which is represented in the rows,  to a personal past set around that house that reminds me very much of the farmhouses of my youth, often taking me back to different points of my own life, my own connections to templates of time.  Even the overall color of this piece sets that tone of memory for me.  There is  something in that green that reminds me of the ferns that my mother dug up many years ago from the hillside above the Chemung River and planted in the shade of the old farmhouse that we lived in for much of my childhood.  That green often brings back that memory, one filled with an air of  coolness and the smell of damp, rich soil.  A good memory.
Okay. Enough for now.  Work and the present calls.  I have my own fields to tend to now.

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