Since adolescence, I have been fascinated by the concept of houses as symbols of inner life. I remember reading about a memory device widely used in the 18th century. People trained themselves to remember long sequences of detailed information by constructing an imaginary house, and placing items, or symbols of items, they wanted to recall at strategic places–on the parlor mantle, for instance, or just inside the front door. When they wanted to retrieve the information, they simply went inside and walked through their internal house. I didn’t use the idea in this way, but it stuck with me, because… Read More »
Archive for October, 2005
Two of my uncles were missing this year, from the family reunion.
Uncle Jack, who was known in his youth as “Jiggs” Lael, was a well-known rodeo cowboy, Elvis-handsome. He once rode broncs at Madison Square Garden, and got to kiss Miss America. I’ve often thought that Uncle Jack was born into the wrong century–he would have fit in well in old Tombstone, or Dodge City. He was always tough, but tender-hearted, too. One of the things people say about him is that he never said an unkind word about anybody. He’s aging now, in a nursing home, and in… Read More »