cell phone self-portrait

cell phone self-portrait
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Monday, June 12, 2006

Genetic Memory

Those valentines are from the 1920's and 30's. They belonged to my maternal grandmother, and seeing the delicate penciled messages on the backs takes me back to a different time --- a time I haven't been to, at least not in this body. but a time from which I have a piece handed down. Now look at my face and the face of my daughter (above left) and mother (above right) --- both of them at about 15 years old, by the way. What has been handed down in our faces? In our mannerisms? In our tendencies toward certain illnesses? In our "natural" talents? Are we the living memories of our ancestors? This is how some theorists explain the uncanny natural talents and skills of savants --- their abilities which appear to come out of nowhere --- remarkable genius in some areas despite the failure to do something as simple as tie their shoes or feed themselves. Somehow these people have carried down their genius in their genetic material --- although other parts of their brains appear to be stymied or blocked. For more on this, take a look at the following link. http://www.wisconsinmedicalsociety.org/savant/genetic_memory.cfm

Somewhere in those features must be little pieces of my ancestors --- on my mother's maternal side, I know their names back to the early 18th century; on her father's side, I know at least some of their names. However, my father was adopted, so I know nothing about my paternal ancestry. Still, I carry in my body and mind their essence. I believe in genetic memory, and so it is possible that I "saw" these old valentines before --- through my grandmother's eyes. She processed the memories of them, and I supposed it makes a considerable difference if she moved the memories into long-term storage. I assume she did, since she kept a scrapbook with the valentines in it for about 50 years. So if scraps of her memories were carried down to me, maybe I simply remembered the valentines rather than seeing them for the first time. Posted by Picasa What a cool concept. This all gives me an idea for a short story. A mother is looking over her daughter's designs for valentines (she's an illustrator) when they begin to look familiar, so she pulls out her own mother's scrapbook and is amazed to find that they are remarkably similar. When she asks, she is dumbfounded to know that her daughter has never seen these valentines, or if she has, it has been years, and she certainly did not study them or memorize their design elements. She begins to explore the concept of genetic memory, attempting to separate that concept from psychic phenomena --- and along the way finds her way back to God and to spirituality: to the love of God, to His valentine to humanity.

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