Farhad O’Neill -
Visual Artist

On Memory

Recently I woke up musing upon “memory” - its nature, qualities and scope, both realized and undiscovered (and who could discover all of something not corporeal and therefore subject to our senses?). My current understanding of memory - that Greatest of Houses wherein lies the treasure trove of all thoughts and goodness - leads me to think that sense impressions - primarily the sense of sight - provide us with the greatest number of images we keep in our minds to remind us of things and ideas. And then while we sleep our mind conjures up and plays with these images - providing us with our dreams and nightmares and phantasms. We sometimes remember so little of this exercise of the mind upon waking and are left with bits of images - themselves turned through the “washing machine” of our sleeping mind - originally gained from sense impressions of things corporeal in the waking world! Truly amazing the complexity and integrity and circumpherence of our mental faculties! I believe, truly, that the brain - exercising its own judgement with our memories and the images we carry to our sleep - represents a scene much like the lioness lying down with the lamb, or the sea caressing the nine/tenths of that very iceberg which we do not see with our eyes. Sleep is the caring parent that smooths our thoughts and prepares us for that time when we must all Wake.

So much to consider, in both our waking and sleep, this thing called Memory. Can anyone tell an entire story from a single line? I suppose perhaps, that God, Nature, and Art work in their own ways to help us regulate our lives and thoughts and dreams, even in our sleep. No wonder, I think, that memory and dreams, that is the Grand Narrative that holds all together and unites us with the natural world in a way our actions do not- comes to us very often - out of the massive tapestry, as a single thread……….