I thought this was an appropriate thought for today given what has happened over the last few days.
William James, father of Radical Empiricism, believed that our Worldview was not formed from just the sum of our experiences, but also from the meaning we made of them. That you cannot disconnect the sensory experience from the context in which it happened. At times I have trouble remembering the context in which many of my early experiences happened simply because our life style caused us to be constantly on the move so I have a series of vignettes as opposed to a novel. One of my longest stints of residence was in fact 6 years at boarding school, a bit of a constant whilst my home address changed a few times. In true vagabond fashion however, when I left school I left the country for good and lost contact with everyone. Shut the door on the past. Every now an again however, as I grow older, I feel the need to recover a bit of the past. Now I am an orphan, my link to the past, to those who knew me is severed.
I have been lucky to reconnect with my best friend from that time, and it is amazing the similarity we have in some of our approaches to the world; she shared my peripatetic style of growing up but without even the continuity of education. We both detest packing and we both just pull down a steel shutter when we move on for instance.
Just recently, as I was aimlessly following hyperlinks, I stumbled on a connection to the past. Thought about it, and reached out. And now coming in is a flood of all those old contexts for part of my life. Very interesting. And also quite shocking. Were we really ever that young and gorgeous, not our mature more wrinkly selves we are used to seeing in the mirror each day. I find it hard to connect the now pictures to those people frozen in time in my memory. I’d walk past them in the street never knowing.
One of my old friends http://www.rodulfo.org/paintings.html – enjoy