READING SIGNS

A sky like freshly melted lead and I am re-membered of that age so long ago when men stood atop the crops of living stone that grew like towers from the Earth, and carrion fowl

circled the sky searching for the dead.

The green of cyprus tall and dark, the hidden grasses bent beneath the menhired burden of a vanished race that raced the sun of every season to see who could catch the summer first.

Winters come, and yet is past, and still the grey and shadowed corners linger along the Elder Trails were men no longer read the signs

and the signs no longer signify.

A scarecrow raised like Rome’s own crucified to draw the ravens to his eye, so plucked away it cannot see any sight again but prophecy.

Still not enough is known to unknow anything. Worth unknowing.

Another bird, a hunting hawk, wending north of winter’s range will read no time until he marks the movement of a preying heart, and then picking from the scampering fields the blood and bones that once were knit, unmakes them for another day.

The bear scats, the fox turns, wolves howl, mountains rise, seas dry, roots rot, bones break, stones crack, echoes abound, vines creep, roads Wyrd, trails fade, streams cut, wounds bleed, words falter, men forget…

The signs are there, for all to read.

Most will not.

                  Surely,

Most will not.

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THE MEMORY PALACE, MATTEO RICCI, AND THE CITY OF AGAPOLIS

Excellent little article on a simple mnemonic technique. As many of you know this is a subject which has fascinated and interested me for decades. So I’m gonna recreate my response to the article here:

I first became familiar with ancient and Medieval mnemonic techniques after reading the book, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci, which still has a favorite place in my personal library. I highly recommend the book. I was in college at the time. After that I spent about ten years researching ancient and Medieval mnemonic techniques.

After that I built a memory palace in my own mind, and eventually that led me to build a Memory City in my own mind called Agapolis. Complete with maps and buildings and parks and so forth. I might have already mentioned Agapolis here, I think I might have. The design I adapted from the City of Constantinople (New Rome).

Eventually after reading some of the works of Archimedes (on mind-laboratories) I turned Agapolis into a real city (still just in my mind) with laboratories, churches, temples, stadiums, banks, hospitals, parks, places I can live, study, write, etc. This kind of city I am sometimes tempted to call a Civis Imaginaria, but I still have yet to develop a term I’m really satisfied with.

Now if I’m sick I visit the hospital in Agapolis to help with my illness or injury. If I want to write I go to one of my writing retreats in Agapolis and write in my head if I can’t on my computer, and thereby store the story or poem or song there for later retrieval. I do that a lot while working outside, then retrieve the whatever it is later on from my head.

If I’m working on a scientific project or a math problem or an invention I go to the Museus (originally Greek museums, such as in Alexandria) were not artifact storehouses, but invention laboratories) in Agapolis and work the project there.

If I want to work on a business project then I go to one of the offices there.

If I want to talk or hang out with God I go to one of the churches or temples or to the countryside outside of the city.

Yes, I still use the buildings and objects and people (I populate the city with famous people from history as well as fictional characters I’d like to hang out with or talk to) as memory storage and retrieval tools but I also use all of those things for much wider applications as well.

I recommend it.

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Memorizing Historical Dates Using a Memory Palace

by Josh Cohen on March 14, 2011

In the memory forum, Cole linked to a fascinating illustration of a memory palace for memorizing historical dates.

I’ve re-posted the illustration here:

Emma Willard's The Temple of Time

I found a short description here:

The “Temple of Time” is a three-dimensional projection of historical chronography. In the temple, the vertical columns represent centuries, with those on the right showing names of important figures from the Old World while those on the left show figures from the New World. The floor shows a historical stream chart. The ceiling functions as a chart of biography.

The “Temple of Time,” created in 1846 by the pioneering American girls’ educator Emma Willard, draws on the tradition of Renaissance “memory theaters,” mnemonic devices that allowed people to memorize information by imagining it as architectural details in a three-dimensional mental space.

 

Here is the link to the Mnemonics article: http://blog.mnemotechnics.org/memorizing-historical-dates-using-a-memory-palace-1916.html

Here is the link to the Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci: http://www.amazon.com/The-Memory-Palace-Matteo-Ricci/dp/0140080988