Saturday, November 17, 2012

Refractions

As a writer's imagination begins to respond to repeated requests for it to function on command, can I begin to expect this mysterious mechanism to perform without being subjected to the vulnerabilities of superstition?


The memories I am most often drawn to are the ones where imagination has altered the terms of reality in which they have been preserved. I chose to remember as I prefer but knowing this, cannot count on embellished remembrance for historical accuracy. When were these recollections revised? Is it simply a function of time jumping in to make history more agreeable or bearable? Is it a function of maturity? I wish my diligence in keeping journals had been more vigilant.


I am learning that when I want to take a closer look at the contents of imagination, I need to be cautious in approach. Like an eager birdwatcher stalking some rare fowl in the wilderness, I can easily frighten away the prey. I discover that if I am driven to reflection by a sense of anxiety, my access is limited to memories where this sense of anxiety might have originally been composed. This is often not suitable for an emerging narrative. It is important to remain patient & accept what I am being shown in the mind’s eye.


Recollection begins with the simple: a line of dialogue overheard in the background of a restaurant or the colour of someone’s belt. If I slowly, tentatively begin to explore what I have been shown, the frame of reference eventually widens & a context will emerge. This placement is an exciting development. It means seemingly random details might connect.


Something I experienced combines with something learned & then pulls into something overheard.


It is a braid of loose notions.


{Artwork by Montserrat Guidol}


2 comments:

  1. I love your description of our thoughts & memories as similar to "a braid of loose notions." Your blog posts are always so intriguing and filled with evocative images : )

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  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Diane. I'm thrilled you enjoy the posts. You have truly made me smile with your generous feedback.

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