Sunday, 30 May 2010

Haunted Memories

                                                                     Haunted Memories

Families, friends’ new and old, work and life all bring with them the source of memories. The longer I take part in the world of blogging the more I am astounded by all the wonderful memories we all have.

When I was a young minister in my first charge I remember visiting older people. They had their memories and longed to share them. My first reaction was, “I promise never to get like that.” I saw it as living in the past and boring the pants off everybody else.

Thank goodness I quickly learned that without those memories we have no meaning or identity. When I grasped this I saw that those memories were precious moments. The fact that they had been held onto gave them significance. There were lessons to be shared, joys to be experienced and laughs and love to be found within them.

Oh dear, Ralph the old romantic again!

When I stand before a canvas, I ask it what it wants me to say. It cannot just be about putting paint of the medium it has to reach into the inner being and tell its story.

So what was this all about?

I was meditating on all the wonderful hopes I had as a young man. I was sure I was going to change the world. Well here we are and as my other blog says today, the world goes on as it was. So many of the dreams of my youth are now no more than, “castles in the sky.” How easy it would be to get sad at that thought.

But there are so many other castles I have built and will yet build to leave as memories.

This was one of those acrylics that painted itself in a very fast frenzy of paint. It is still in my possession, but then so are the thoughts that inspired it.

This blog is linked to my other:-  Life Changing Moments


  1. It's absolutely amazing how we store events and feelings in the memory. The dreamy landscape of the painting evokes thoughts of those past experiences - the windows and doors of the buildings - like the faces of people encountered along the way.

  2. What you said about building new and different castles...something to reflect on, Ralph. As you might imagine, I'm one who wonders what on earth happened to those dreams I had when I thought I had the world by the tail? Also too, I know what you mean about the stories from the oldsters. I so wish I could remember the stories my grandpa used to tell, truly. It makes me sad to know that I will never hear them or know them. I was so young and just never knew...

  3. Our lives are our memories. We write them, paint them, and tell them. Memories, like art and creative energy, must be shared. This piece strikes me ... I have no words. Perhaps a painting someday, as I won't forget it!

  4. Hi Ralph. I enjoyed your post on reminiscing. Some days it seems like the past is too full and how could I squeeze anymore in... but then a new day comes and with it more adventure. I think the past was the training ground so we could learn how to enjoy today as it comes.

  5. I never get tired of hearing older folks tell stories about their younger days and what life was like in another time and place. And one of the things I love about teaching is the captive audience every day. They have no choice but to listen to MY stories!
    And I believe it's never too late to build those castles, if that's what you really want to do. But maybe there are other castles now, that require building, such as passing on your wisdom garnered over the years to others?

  6. I seem to skim over the comments made before me, dont want to sound repetitive.I spend a few minutes getting lost in your paintings, i realy enjoy your "city scapes". They take me places. Mini vacations.
    Thanx for that.