Monday, October 30, 2006


I have been doing some research lately.
It has been many years since I studied mythology. I was excited to be reminded by my friend Mary, about a Greek Goddess named Mnemosyne. She was the Goddess of Memory.
She is considered one of the most powerful goddesses of her time.
She was a Titaness, her parents were the ruler Cronus and the goddess Gaia.
She was given responsibility for naming all objects, and gave humans the means to converse with one another. The powers that place things into memory and that of rememberance were also attributed to this goddess. Some do believe it is our memory that makes us different than other creatures of the animal world.

Memory was of the utmost importance during the time of Mnemosyne. Long before the alphabet and the written word, it was important for the well-being of a society to have an oral history to pass on. Including the memory of rules, energies of the universe, cycles of life, and the memory of how to live in this world.

The ancients believed that when one died and crossed into the Underworld one would be given a choice . . . whether to drink from the river Lethe where you would forget all the pains and terrors of your previous life (and with them, the lessons they brought), or whether to drink from the Mnemosyne, the spring of memory.

Those who chose to forget had to be reborn, to return to earth to learn the lessons they needed. Those who had chosen to remember were admitted to the Elysian Fields where they would spend eternity in comfort and peace.

Mnemosyne is largely remembered today as the mother of the Muses, the nine Greek goddesses whose role it was to inspire poets and musicians and to promote the arts and sciences. Collectively they were known as the Muses and were described as "having one mind, their hearts set upon song and their spirit free from care".

My little goddess has songs in her heart, and I pray her spirit is one day free from care.

"... and in addition to the gods you mentioned I must call upon all the rest and especially upon Mnemosyne. For practically all the most important part of our speech depends upon this goddess ..." [Critias to Hermocrates. Plato, Critias 108d]

"... If you had no memory you could not even remember that you ever did enjoy pleasure, and no recollection whatever of present pleasure could remain with you ..." [Socrates to Protarchus. Plato, Philebus 21c]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


You may feel contemplative as you reflect on your childhood today. This insightful mind-set could usher in a profound understanding of the ways your past experiences have contributed to your current life circumstances, and you may find it beneficial to spend some time recording these insights in a notebook or journal. You might first begin by jotting down any questions you have about the connections between your past and present, and then get into a meditative state by breathing deeply and releasing all tension from your mind and body. As you sit quietly and ponder these connections, pause to record the insights you receive. Later, you can go back and review them in more detail and perhaps write a few pages about how this information can be used to benefit your life today.

.... and just imagine losing it all.

Do you give your memories much thought? Knowing how to get from one place to another. Remembering family and friends. What makes you who you are? Luckily our memories are stored in different places in our brains. Touch must be remembered seperately.
Go hug your loved ones today.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Descanso Grove

10x15" Charcoal on Rives BFK

Today I met the plein air group, at the lovely Descanso Gardens. If you are ever in this part of the world, it is definitely a must see. We situated ourselves over by the oak grove, and I was intrigued by the light that filtered through the leaves. I found myself a seat on a bed of leaves and went to work.

Michael Newberry, ( I will explain the connection in my next post), suggested a way to get away from the voices in your head, or get out a funk, is to go somewhere with charcoal tools in hand. I hadn't prepared the board, but I knew that wouldn't take me any time at all. He suggested to take about 40 minutes max., and blast away at the light. I love the way he talks,( I will explain that too). So my objective was to capture the beautiful light that I found, and I focused on only a small corner of this grove. Not sure the history of this particular grove, but it certainly might be one of the largest in the area. I know there is something like 25 acres of oak forest, and it was first inhabited by the Gabrielino Indians. They relied on the acorns from the trees as a mainstay of their diet.
Well, back to the drawing... I spent 45 min and I am quite pleased with the results. It was a very pleasant session for me. I felt like I was in a natural cathedral for an hour. Something about sitting on the very land as our Native Americans, becomes somewhat of a religious experience.
A very nice way to count my blessings.