Its an unsettling process. Asking people who are in their 80’s to talk about their past…as if to underline by our desire to capture their experiences, their fragile mortality.
Having a child has had a similar effect on me – in that I realize that my role is to be a “good” memory to him, and that my gambit for immortality rests in his future.
Past, present and future seem to expand and contract in this memory-scape. And as this project comes alive, as we dig deeper and deeper into peoples thoughts, my own experiences with life fade and emerge, dilate and contract.
I met a close friend yesterday. He took me through his creative process of capturing a moment in time poetically. Then breaking it down to trite, matter-of-fact words; further then into report-style prose. Extracting at long last from this jumble of text – words and sentences that captured true nuances which he used to reconstruct and re-make his artwork. This time without the veil of flourish and flamboyance. Just the simple, straight line – naked and exposed.
Doodles and deconstructions. Reconstructions and refinements. Towards something that can stand the test of time…capture memories, remove the flourishes and drama, arrive at the refined moment – and then we might have something to offer the world.