Sunday, 14 April 2013

Seeing the landscape

Yesterday I lost the feeling of surprise that sometimes arose when recalling a particular image pinned to my mental calendar as a memory tag. The idea that the event might have taken place more recently or longer ago than the reality now seems to be almost like a misconception of an innocent age.

It has taken 484 days of remembering an increasing number of days to appreciate how they fit together.

This appreciation has immediately changed my perspective.

In my review this morning, I moved on from visualising my mental calendar and recalling the tags for each Saturday and Sunday since I began this process on 17 December 2011. Instead, it seemed as if the whole of the calendar was laid out before me, like a landscape. This represented much more than the images pinned to each day: it contained the rise and fall of moods, anticipation of coming events, memories of past events, the feelings conjured up by place and the people I was with, the concerns on my mind. The landscape contains the rich scenery of my life.

Choosing a date still called up the memory tag, but with much less effort, because of the surrounding context. I was not so much trying to find an image to remember the day, but looking for the chosen image amongst the richness surrounding it.

Over this 16 months, I have developed and practised various techniques for remembering elusive memory tags, which principally involve using the surrounding context. Like in my juggling analogy from yesterday, visualising the context now seems to have become second nature and today things clicked into place. Like the time when I suddenly realised I was no longer thinking about throwing and catching juggling ball, but simply juggling.

My minds eye now sees far more of my mental calendar that the images I have used to construct it.

It is breath taking and I am now even more excited to see how this experiment develops.

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