Memory: From the Mountains to the Ocean, April-May, 2018
Over the last five years, I've accumulated two suitcases full of memories; spiral-bound, 5-subject journals, dating back to September 2013, filled with stream-of consciousness observations and real-time reflections on navigating my way through the world amidst a series of life-altering transitions.
During this time, I've grown increasingly interested in how journaling can offer insights into the ways in which memory is formed, and how interpretations of memory shape perception.
As a starting point, I recently transcribed all of my journal entries from my spring travels to Nepal and Portugal, running the raw text through a word cloud engine to identify predominant themes in my writing. (If you aren't familiar with word clouds, the premise is that the larger a word appears in a cloud, the higher its occurrence in a block of text.)
I was curious to identify common themes that were coming through in my stream of consciousness during my time in Nepal and Portugal as the energy was fresh, and how the themes aligned with my current memories and perceptions of these experiences. What was there to learn?
I was also curious to examine my travel journalling from a bigger picture perspective, combining both sets of journal entries for the word cloud shared at the top of this post.
As illuminating as it was for me to synthesize hundreds of pages of travel content into a handful of ideas, this exercise generated more questions than answers:
Seeking thought partners.