How are we to understand the marvels of the human brain? Different parts of the brain play different roles in making decisions, in recognizing the faces of those we love and even in experiencing God. Memory and Imagination are linked in a dynamic way. Perhaps failures of memory and imagination are at the heart of much human suffering?
We are our memories: the events of life that we can recall give us a sense of personal identity and movement through time. So as we recall the stories that have brought us to any given moment in time we are both rediscovering and proclaiming who we are. What life events have shaped you? What is the realtionship between our past and future? What do we hope for? Where are our dreams? As I reflect on some of these questions I am reminded of the sacred uniqueness of every individual and how we should guard one anothers souls.
Perhaps we don’t tell enough stories. They shape our families, our communities of faith and our national identities. I am suprised at how many War memorials there are in this capital city – the most moving being the sculpture remembering the Vietman War. How deeply that experience is etched on the national memory. ‘And do we ever learn?’ asked an older woman out loud – I don’t think that she was looking for an answer!
As I read and write I am grateful for the story of Temple Balsall and especially the people who have shaped my story. Perhaps we need more stories to help both our imagining and our grateful remembering?
One final thought. Our brains are constantly creating and our understanding of the nature of truth is transformed in the process. However much we crave stability and certainty it is in the end a fantasy. Let our mapping point us both to the treasures and dangers of living. Happy story telling.