Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fragments: Image Plague

I don't recall images. This became more obvious when I read a New Yorker article on Derek Parfit who has stated that he has few memories of his past which he blames on an inability to recall images. The article states this condition is rare but does occur.

I'm not sure I have the same condition Derek Parfit has. However, when I discussed this with my sambo, she commented that she wasn't surprised since I'd previously admitted an inability to dream in color (and mostly without images). After reading the article, I realized that my memory is all word-based or maybe my memories are miasmas through which I drag word-based nets. Even when my sambo is in the same room, if I close my eyes, I can not envision what she looks like. It gets drained to chestnut hair, hazel eyes, ..., words. If I open my eyes, I'll instantly recognize her.

What has this to do with image plagues? The last two nights, I have been realizing the power of images to slip into the mind. I flew to Stockholm via Chicago on Sunday. The San Francisco to Chicago flight was an older plane with TV screens that folded down from the top of the passenger compartment. I didn't listen to them and mostly ignored them. They ran some movie and an episode of The Simpsons.

Images (or my miasma of words) have plagued my dreams the last couple of days. Both nights, Homer has visited me. Last night was particularly interesting with twenty-some Homer heads swinging on long hydra-heads. I'm intrigued by how these images even in word form have found me.

How do you think about images? I'm curious.


  1. I remember a quote that vaguely went like this: "If you think in words, paint. If you think in pictures, write."

    That is interesting though. I've never considered that people might dream in different manners. I am terrible with faces in dreams. They usually appear as a blur, but I always know who each person is. I dream in color, and in images. Sometimes it's like watching a movie. Most of the time it feels as real as life. I've even read books in dreams, and can recall the words on the page. That happened the other night, and was really odd.

    How do I think about images? I don't. That's how I imagine.

  2. @Tessa, I'm intrigued by how your faces appear in dreams. The reading books in dreams sounds similar to the idea of lucid dreaming.

  3. This is fascinating. I recall images as if words have no meaning at all. I can think words, but they're almost incidental.

    I know my Dad doesn't dream or think in colour. Everything is black and white somehow. I found this amazing, too. The way our brains work--just incredible.