There is an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London until September 6th which is called "Walking in my mind." Yesterday Kate Muir wrote about it in the Times Review. She quotes the curator of the gallery as saying, "There are millions of nerve cells in the brain and the connections between these neurons, the synapses, are made by you." As I read it, the idea behind the exhibition is that we are all so many different characters inside our heads - what people see of us is what we choose to let them see.
Doing my walk for yesterday's blog I got to thinking about this walking in the mind business in its wider sense. There seem to be so many facets to it.
My previous husband used to say that I had the habit of doing every job three times. For example, first of all I would sit and think, "I think I'll clean out my wardrobe - I'll put all my Summer outfits together in the left hand side." Then I would have a cup of coffee, read the paper, have a chat, then go upstairs and clean out the wardrobe. Later on he would hear me on the phone to a friend, saying, "I've cleaned out the wardrobe and put all my summer outfits together in the left hand side."
On a cold Winter afternoon I can sit in a chair with a photograph album on my knee - let's say one of our New England holiday - and I can walk that holiday in my mind again - perhaps taking an hour to do so - and the effect it has on me is almost as therapeutic as the holiday itself.
I can read Thesiger's "Arabian Sands" AGAIN and I can be there with him in the Empty Quarter all those years ago. What an amazing thing the mind is.
An aunt of mine, Auntie Ruth, who died many years ago, became frail and bed-fast in the final stage of an illness. When I went to see her she was only partially conscious but she smiled and told me that she had just had a tremendous walk all round the fields and lanes of Heighington, (where she lived as a child) - the way she told me about that walk I know she really thought she had been on it that morning. A couple of days later she died - not a bad way to end your life, is it?
So - my post has wandered far away from the concept of the exhibition; but then has it really because the connections between my synapses have been made by me and this is how I choose to present it to you. Surely that - in the wider sense - is what it is all about.
Where do you walk in your mind.