Learning from our memories…..

Ten years ago I attended an Adlerian summer school.

In one of the sessions we were asked to write about and illustrate ‘Our Earliest Childhood Memory’.

The Adlerians believe that our earliest childhood memories indicate what our path in life might be.

The above illustration represents me at three years old in front of the cobbler’s shop in Dovercourt Essex mesmerised by a small colourful carousel

When my Mother and I lived there at the end of the war, my Mother would take me into the little town of Dovercourt where I would see the magical carousel in the cobbler’s window……

One day I escaped from our garden and found my way to the cobbler’s shop. Eventually the police and my frantic mother found me gazing at the little carousel. I was clearly fascinated with the colour.

I suppose its true to say that I have been escaping all of my life, and my love of colour has lead me in my work. So maybe my earliest childhood memory was prophetic?

When a baby is born into a peaceful world with loving parents – their world is a kaleidoscope of colour and shapes, and their young minds filled with wonder. However, we all know this is not the case for so many, particularly in our world today.

Babies born into war torn turmoil and horror assimilate it all. Babies born into homes where there is nothing but a tv droning on or parents glued to iPhones and other devices…take it all in. Babies born into angry homes…with loud voices take it all in so that eventually it becomes their norm!

Thank goodness this beautiful little girl has just been born into a gentle loving home…..

Our positive and negative memories teach us so much.

We all need to make room in our overcrowded 21st century minds to remember what we have learned from our parents, grandparents, teachers and the many others whose lives have brushed against our own. This is invaluable information.

Quite a few years ago I organised a ‘memory wall’ in my bedroom. The more I look at this wall and study the different people within it, I learn so much. It seems that as the years pass by the photographs tell me more and more.

When we flip through pictures in our phones….it’s all too fragmented. Like the baby, we need time to assimilate what it is we are seeing. We need time to learn from the pictures.

Part of my ‘memory wall’

Climate change is not some far off event – it’s NOW.

When children come to the end of their formative years, at around seven, the narrow definition that the culture they were born into will have taken hold in their fertile minds.

This means that we must all encourage creative thinking NOW so that those who inherit the mess we and previous generations have made can work towards better and different ways of being.

Memory will remind us of the importance of community ….rather than the fragmented electronic madness that has been imposed upon so many.

Memory will show us humanity at war and humanity in peace….Memory will show us communities that served one another……. Memory will teach us so much

I am taking time out until mid September….time to think and reflect plus paint a portrait or two.

Janet 🙂

38 thoughts on “Learning from our memories…..

  1. Margy

    You have an excellent memory wall! I have one for people pictures too.
    I totally agree with your phrase ‘electronic madness’. We have more information at our fingertips than we have ever had… and more disinformation too. By all measures, the world is more peaceful now for more people than it has been since WWII – but we hear reports about every armed conflict (25 deaths or less) as though they were wars with thousands or tens of thousands of deaths. We hear about the weather extremes of today or this week without seeing the reports that put it into the context of the climate over decades. In short, we are fed the negative without the balance of being told all the progress mankind has made.

  2. davidjrogersftw

    Thank you so much for this maningful tribute to memory. Like all writers I think I spend quite a few hours every day steeped in memories because that’s where almost all a writer’s material is born.

    I love the images you show us–the little girl, the carousel–so pretty and delicate, like a tea cup.

    I hope you enjoy your break and relax.
    Talk to you iin a month or two.

  3. Emma Cownie

    Your memory wall is beautiful – you are right about the digital worl. Flicking through pages of text and images just isnt the same as looking at them on the wall or reading a book. One of my earliest memories is walking down by the River Lugg. I love being in naure still.

  4. moirapwalker

    Hello wise one!

    There is so much in this new blog to think about; it’s taken me a few days to absorb. It’s interesting to think back and try and recall that first childhood memory… to contemplate how it might have indicated a future path… I’m so proud that Noa has inspired not just your fantastic portraits of her but your blog, encouraging the lifelong thought process of learning, of gathering influences, of benefiting from ancestors, from history and from our own memories. How important it is for us all to be aware of our impact on others, especially on young minds; our impact on the world… WOW there really is a lot to consider in that blog!!!

    I read your friend David’s blog too (thank you for sending it to me!) He too raised some interesting points, most of which I agreed with but some I didn’t! It was a little too intense for me (I got lost sometimes in what he was trying to say!), and a little too wordy but I’m more of a visual person and he’s clearly more of a wordsmith so hardly surprising!

    I feel so lucky that I found my way back to art and the incredible new life that it has opened up to me… I truly feel I’ve found my tribe and, you, my wonderful friend, are the best – my kindred spirit – I’m so happy to be sharing the same path!

    Love you so much!

    Moira xxx

  5. janetweightreed10 Post author

    Thank you so much Moira for your considered response. When Noa grows up we can share all of this with her.

    I am very happy to be sharing the same creative path with you….so much to explore. Janet :)XXX

  6. Don't Lose Hope

    Very thought-provoking. As you indicate, all the research highlights the importance of the early childhood years. These are really precognitive – so everything we experience is through our senses. We are affected and shaped by sounds, colours, tastes, emotional environments, the level of stimuli we are exposed to, and so on. A sobering thought for young parents.
    I can see how your early childhood experiences affected the trajectory of your life. Perhaps it’s not surprising that you are an artist!
    Thanks for another fascinating and insightful post.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I often think how difficult it is to be a young parent today with all the technology, social media etc.

      I knew when I was three years old that I wanted to be an artist. I remember the moment that the revelation came to me. It was triggered by my favourite aunt’s very colourful sketch book…. Janet. 🙂

  7. Virginia Porter

    My dear friend Janet. This piece today touched my heart deeply. Today is my GRANDdaughters birthday. We have had quite a ride over 25 years. The memories are still vivid. Today I care for HER daughter, Charlotte. Life is infinite and I will continue to make sweet memories and learn from the not so sweet. I know they will grow more and more after my physical presence is no longer.
    I will share this piece with Maggie, my GRAND.
    STAY SAFE. I’m well.
    Hummers are in high numbers this season!!!

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Dear Lovely Virginia. I have been thinking so much about you recently and wore your lovely hummingbird scarf that you gave me several years ago.
      You are always surrounded by the magical hummingbirds and although I haven’t got to be with you in the flesh, know that I am always with you in spirit.
      Sending you, Maggie, Charlotte and the rest of your family much l love —–Janet XXXX

  8. panglima555


    Pada Isn, 16 Ogo 2021 10:54 PTG My Life as an Artist (2) menulis:

    > janetweightreed10 posted: ” Ten years ago I attended an Adlerian summer > school. In one of the sessions we were asked to write about and illustrate > ‘Our Earliest Childhood Memory’. The Adlerians believe that our earliest > childhood memories indicate what our path in” >


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