Found this collage recently. When I pulled out the pin that had been securing the organza to the bark paper, a streak of rust remained. I liked that — Rusty Memory.
For pieces like this, I get stalled at the finishing. Does it get framed? Do I add a thread for hanging so that no frame is necessary? Do I scan it and transfer it to fabric so that I can use is as cloth in a quilt?
‘Course, I could do all three of those things.
Now, what is the opposite of Rusty Memory? I wasn’t consciously wrestling with this, but when I saw a photo from one of our recent sessions of deconditioning our Corgi of his camera terror, I thought — AH HA — the opposite of Rusty Memory is Conditioning —
memory so tightly embedded in the cells that they cause unwilled reactions to certain stimuli.
Good to ponder the two extremes.
Jack is such a reminder that we need to be gentle with all the things that scare us. We don’t know what happened to him in his first two years in Puerto Rico. We do know that he was NOT one of the large population of street dogs down there. He had been cared for and then abandoned, tied to a fence and left to starve. He weighed twenty (!!!) pounds less when we got him and his ears were infested with bugs.
Obviously, something having to do with flashes of light gave him a real fright. Perhaps it was just surviving a few lightening storms while unable to take any kind of cover. Most dogs HATE thunder and lightening. But sometimes I think it must have been something more awful — burned with a cigarette?! (Because it seems even the red ON button of the camera terrifies him, as does the striking of a match).
We’ll never know. So in that sense, the rusty memory and the conditioning overlap… just as they might in a trauma survivor who uses amnesia to block out the memories. So here is an instance where polar opposites can and frequently do, overlap. A spectrum that circles ’round on itself.