11″ W x 14″ H
Acrylic on canvas board. Framed.
Our mind’s ability to integrate multiple memories allows us to gain insight into experiences. Memory can anchor us, particularly in times of darkness, because we are able to recall past experiences of having endured or been rescued from overwhelming circumstances.
Exactly how one past memory links with another is still a scientific mystery. This neuron is depicted in the shape of an anchor to reference the concept and cognitive practice of ‘memory anchors’ which aid the brain in boosting recollection, as well as encouraging positive responses internally to circumstances going on outside of us. Along with the scientific connection, is the additional meaning of an anchor as a familiar symbol of faith.
A boat anchor keeps a vessel from floating away much like the presence of a solid faith. While a ‘memory anchor’ keeps a memory from doing the same and allows us to connect what we are learning to something we already know. Therefore, when life’s deep tumultuous waters come to overwhelm us, it is necessary to choose to anchor our thoughts in hope and not be swept away by waves of despair.
About the Neuron Series
Whenever finding myself in foreign surroundings, I am provoked to create. This doesn’t only have to do with geographical location but also life situations. This series of paintings has been inspired by the journey my family has walked alongside our daughter who has special needs. In coming to better understand and embrace this reality, I never expected to become so intrigued by the complexity and beauty of the human mind.
I have been amazed to learn that everything we think and feel and do is nearly impossible without the work of neurons and their communication with each other. These neural connections are what make each of us unique. There is an unfathomable complexity in the human mind down to the detail of one miniscule neuron; this I find so very ironic with the reality that we as humans are also only dust.
Further study into the life and death of neurons and the concept of neuro-genesis leaves me amazed and hopeful with the mind’s ability to re-circuit itself in order to overcome inflicted damage. It has been discovered that even songbirds have the unique ability to lay down neuron pathways in their brains when learning new songs. By changing these songs seasonally, the regeneration of neurons is encouraged.
Through creating this series, I have been reminded that we all have parts of our minds that are untapped and/or in desperate need of healing and redemption. These areas of dysfunction, some more visible than others, require deep restoration. Part of the transformation process is the intentional learning of new ways of thinking and living. What began as a way to understand, cope and hope for the healing of my daughter’s mind, has developed into a plea for the slumbering areas of my own mind to awake as well, imparting to both of us a new song.