March 24, 2010


To regard these paintings is to participate in an act of translation – to move from a map, a diagram, archaeology of overlapping circuits, into an experience. Jaudon is concerned with setting up the conditions of observation, showing the viewer how to look, not what to see.


This video has made me think about experience vs. our memory of the experience and how this relates to happiness.  Not only does our mind spend a lot of time playing these memories over and over but we are also concerned with making future memories or avoiding unpleasant future memories.

Comparing one-week and two-week vacations in the same place:
“For the remembering self, the two week vacation is barely better than the one week vacation because there are no new memories added. You have not changed the story. Time is actually the critical variable that distinguishes our remembering self from our experiencing self. Time has very little impact on the remembered story.”

“We actually don’t choose between experiences; we choose between memories of experiences. And even when we think about the future, we don’t think about future experiences. We think of our future as anticipated memories. You can look at this as the tyranny of the remembering self, and you can think of the remembering self dragging the experiencing self through a set of experiences it doesn’t need. I have the sense that when we go on vacations, this is very frequently the case. We go on vacations in the service of the remembering self.”

Daniel De La Harpe Golden said:
  • Mar 6 2010: I believe training or modifying memories through safe recall, story telling, and interaction with a participant in the process forms a major part of many psychotherapeutic techniques.

     I read this blog by Jane Schner, about a "found photograph" art project she did in response to "What anchors us in these situations?"

    So I was thinking what anchors me?  I wrote this to a friend:
    My anchor has always been the memories that I am making...the more good memories the stronger the anchor.  I would like to say that people are our anchor...but only in relation to the connections we are making with them.  If we treat people like a fixture in our life then they become an object, we are probably not going to be thinking about the memories we are making with them any more than you think about the memories you are making with your tv...even though you may spend time with you tv.  But if you think about how much time you are spending laughing and enjoying each other...that is the anchor part.  


    In reading this now I think that even in thinking about people in the context of being memories is somewhat like making them an object of my I don't think that is necessarily true.
    But I think what I was trying to say was that the emotional aspect of the memory is important.  But wonder if one negative become the focus of an otherwise perfect memory?  This would be like taking a beautiful picture and painting black over the whole thing...We could chose to put the black paint brush down..but how do you do this mentally?

    The Ten Coolest Art Therapy Interventions

    I am interested in Art as Therapy as a language to translate our experiences so that we can have control over how they will effect us rather than just letting them control our lives.

    How can we gain better ways of seeing so that we are happier?
    There was a poem that someone quoted to me one time....I can't quote it and I don't know who wrote it and haven't been able to find it though I have looked for it.

    The poem is something about some cream someone had. 
    The flies got into the cream. 
    That totally ruined the cream for this person, until
    he was able to look at the cream and ignore the flies.
    The point being that there will always be flies in our cream and if we want to be happy we need to learn to ignore what we can't control, and be grateful with what we can.

    So how do you do this with regard to memories or future memories?  Teach me...if you have developed a way of looking at the terrain of your memories that will translate in creating more happiness.  It may even be illogical as in Valerie's painting.  Or as in looking at the cream rather than the fly.  

    I have just thought of the serenity prayer and this is a good place to start.
    The secret is in the STORY.  
    I am sure that sometimes there are experiences that are painful and may never be "fixed" completely...and we have to learn to let go of our attachment to repeat the story line or believe in the shame of the story.  The story is there to teach us to practice a different way of looking.
    These are just the tailend of my thoughts after writing this, I am not a therapist and I cannot provide much more than questions as I am a pilgrim searching.


Anonymous said...

You always have something great to make me think. Thank you!
I want to visit again so I can take my time and view everything you have shared!

the wild magnolia said...

Heavy stuff. Way deep.

I try to keep it simple, for me that is a must.

As much as possible,I keep memories simple. They are from past experiences. Pleasant or unpleasant. I don't try to juggle them into a different order or remembrance. Surely there is an element of how we perceive any given situation.

Each day, each vacation, each conversation contains new experiences. New experience means new memories.

Perception may be influenced by past experiences, and prejudice, realized or unrealized. I do see how we will ever escape from this. I want to live each day as brand new and not tangle it with past experience.

Again, I keep it simple, whether my memories or colored by prejudice or skewed perception, they remain ever a memory.

I do not normally analyze my memories. Unless there is a harmful issue involved which needs to be dealt with. In such case I deal with it, write it out, talk it out, seek the counsel of a mentor/counselor, and ease my grip on the memory. With a goal of letting go of the effect of this memory. The memory remains but less prominent. I'm sure these solutions of dealing with memories will be different for each of us.

As one said in another comment, I am no therapist. Just sharing a few thoughts I have bumped against in my life.

BTW great subject for discussion.

A Casinha de Chocolate said...

I´ve spent a long time in your blog and will be coming back often. I´m sorry I can´t live in here.

Quilt Architect said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quilt Architect said...

Thank you Wild Magnolia,
I have started to write something here and just didn't have the "energy" to do it. It is amazing that writing really is work...or it can be for those of us that are challenged by it.
I have the human problem of theater in my brain...he said this and I could have responded with this...or nit picking the situation, "what did that body language mean?" or just becoming frustrated over when people don't act like you expect them to and you find yourself arguing when you were not looking for one.
I remember a few years ago having a situation like this. The lady's daughter took a bat and hit the side of our house with it breaking the siding. I went over to talk to her about it and she blamed my son for calling her daughter a name. I had to go home with my tail between my legs because I could tell that I wasn't going to get anywhere arguing with this lady.
I had bought a book called... Short Cut to Bliss...and it had a great exercise that I tried in this situation. It help me by discharging all the emotional energy that I had pinned up around this lady and gave me some perspective, on how to resolve this issue.
Here was the exercise. You play through the scene in you mind seeing and hearing what everyone said and did. Then you play it again...only this time you speed it up. Then you play it again and hear everyone talking in Micky Mouse and Donald Duck voices. Then you play it again and put hats on everyone and play circus music behind the "mental movie".
It was a method of scratching the record...if you scratch a record it no longer plays the same.
I was able to go back over to her house and with out accusing her of being wrong out a solution to get the siding repaired. It worked great. I found some in the basement and her husband removed the old and repaired the siding.
Another trick has been something that was mentioned in Anthony Robbin's book The Giant Within. And he talks about changing your focus. That is kinda what I have done with the serenity prayer...but he suggest doing it with a question which is also good. He says that successful people ask better questions...and that you need to focus on where you want to go (in race car driving) and not the wall (when you are in a tail spin.)
Sometime the best thing for me to do is just say ...Cancel. It is a switchword that works like the Backspace key. It doesn't provide any satisfaction that "scratching the itch"(as Pema Choldron would say) of our irritations brings us.