California Life, time lost and found, versions of the truth

Entangling Memory and Place

Places become the canvas for memory. Of course art describes this. Labors to reveal to all that places and memories are not simply ephemeral things which can be treated as fantasy and fancy. Art is that blessed purgatory wherein all that has not or perhaps cannot be weighed and proved in one lifetime still becomes embodied in a way which allows it to someday be birthed into the realm of science. That solid measureable world through which all precious ephemeral things will pass to become the dirt which will someday be built up into the mountain which will be measured and proven to exist.

I’m rather fond of Quantum Entanglement. For so much of my formal education there existed this notion that the world is made of discreet parts. Like Lego pieces they are solid and separate. Sure, they can be combined because they are designed to link together but every piece is separate and individual. I love that science exists. I love that the world can be split apart into small pieces but I find it abhorrent that people are taught to see themselves are separate and singular beings which can, should and will only depend on themselves. There is a peculiar way in which things that are half true or portions of a larger truth become accepted as true. Certainly a single gene within a single person may, in the course of its struggle to replicate itself cause the person to pursue a very specific and singular path but neither the gene nor the person exist in a vacuum. Although I won’t pretend to have the expertise to comprehend Quantum Entanglement at all of its levels, what it does seem to demonstrate is that even if one can split existence down to small, seemingly singular components, they exist as part of larger phenomenon and cannot truly be taken down to something singular and isolated. The singular isolation is a fiction. A construct which allows the seeker to comprehend a larger truth that is too complex to digest in the whole.

My whole life so far is tightly entangled with Santa Barbara. At various points in my life it is where I have lived and my life is shaped by the place. My memory of life is shaped by that place and the places which belong to it. These images are fully bittersweet. The place was one of youthful dreaming and longing. An escape from the tightly enclosed housing and streets which felt suffocating after a childhood in the woods. The sky, clouds and weeds drew me to them with their promise of freedom for my mind and heart to wander beyond the material world. Here I was connected to place in the sense that place is not a thing that can be built or altered but rather is simply representative of existence and that moment in which one is alive. In this case, place is all the matter in the universe. Nothing more. Nothing less. This place in the time of these pictures was my attempt to capture something which was already gone. All the dreams which I had in this place had floundered or failed. At the time, I tried to capture the essence of the dreaming.

Instead it was where I would say farewell to all of it. Afterwards I sunk deep into a dreamless time of depression and loneliness which felt it could be cured by no one. It was the beauty of the place entangled so tightly with the sweetness of the dreaming which caused the resulting void to be so deep and dark. There were other places in Santa Barbara where the dreaming would reawaken. Places similar to this but seemingly unconnected. Ultimately it was necessary to leave. The entanglement became a snare. A tightening bundle of strings that I felt would inevitably become a garrote if I could not leave memory to place and let the two turn to dust.


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