Memory is life…

“Memory is life. It is always carried by groups of living people, and therefore it is in permanent evolution.”

[From “Age of Empire” by Eric Hobsbawm]

Sometimes the narrative that we construct is in our heads, and we re-arrange the images and experiences into a story that may not always be apparent to others….

“The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life. The fight with nature which primitive man has to wage for his bodily existence attains in this modern form its latest transformation….”  

[From “The Metropolis & Mental Life'” by Georg Simmel ,1903]

Grin... John Callaway 2014

Grin… John Callaway 2014

Work on Regents Canal began in 1812 and “was intended to link the Thames with the Midlands, (but it soon became more important for) local transport…, particularly in carrying coal: in 1835 one-fifth of all coal imported into London entered the canal, mostly for local use. Building materials also formed much of the tonnage, which more than doubled between 1823 and 1832. The growing trade attracted building along the canal, (including) privately owned basins… with warehouses, depots, and businesses nearby”.  [Source: British History Online]

As capitalism continues to create a divide between the 1% and the 99%, corporations and those with money can put up signs telling us what to buy, what to eat, what we ‘need’… Messages and signals to keep us stupefied…

Meanwhile, in the absence of money and resources, self-expression needs to find another outlet….

Its either that, or grin and bear it…

Wharf Road Bridge, Regents Canal. John Callaway 2014

Wharf Road Bridge, Regents Canal. John Callaway 2014

“If I could choose the life I please 
Then I would be a boatman 
On the canals and the rivers free 
No hasty words are spoken 
My only law is the river breeze 
That takes me to the open seas 
If I could choose the life I please 
Then I would be a boatman…”

[“The Boatman” : Levellers]

Repair... John Callaway 2014

Repair… John Callaway 2014

But the difference between the sepia tinted view of what might be, and reality don’t always match up…

Your boat doesn’t belong…your words don’t belong….your colour doesn’t belong….your art doesn’t belong…. you are nothing but the undertow…

City Road Lock, Regents Canal. John Callaway 2014

City Road Lock, Regents Canal. John Callaway 2014

“…Houses are not haunted
By the dead. So let us pray 
For the living. Let us pray
For the wasps and sons who haunt us…”

[From “Gentrification” by Sherman Alexie]

Nosferatu... John Callaway 2014

Nosferatu… John Callaway 2014

Told you the narrative was in my head… 🙂

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4 responses to “Memory is life…

  • allotment04

    All very true. Love the photos

  • Swappers

    From out of one head . . .to another

    “And many’s the time that I’ve passed by the river
    And saw no tollman and needed no ferryman to cross
    And I enjoyed the world aright
    For the sea itself floweth
    And warm I was and crowned.

    But one day walking by the river
    I met a tollman with an angry face
    And many’s the time I passed through his tollgate
    And paid no silver and paid no fee
    But rather I did hide my sheep and goats under the bags of oatmeal
    And cold I was, no crown did I wear

    But if you’re walking down the street
    Why don’t you look down to the basement
    And sitting very quietly there is a man who has no head
    His eye is single and his whole body also is filled with light

    And the streets are his and all the people
    And even the temples and the whole world
    And many’s the time he walks to the river
    And seeing the ferryman and seeing the tollman
    The light within him leaps to greet them
    For he sees that their faces are none but his own”

    Douglas Traherne Harding
    Incredible String Band

  • Gareth

    again a good one, got me thinking, my favourite part was a quote from you, not the others:

    those with money can put up signs telling us what to buy, what to eat, what we ‘need’… Messages and signals to keep us stupefied…

  • johnnyc1959

    Thanks all.

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