Memories Take Time

Over the past several weeks I have been partaking in   Susannah Conway‘s e-course Unravel Your Life.  This e-course is described as “a creative journey that takes you back to the heart of who you truly are. Using photography and journalling to access hidden thoughts & feelings, encourage personal realisations…”

As a keen photographer and art therapist I was intrigued and thought that this might be an interesting learning experience.  It was. The eight week course started out quite gently and in a fun way, taking photos of our feet, exploring where we place ourselves in the world. This was particularly interesting for me as I was travelling at the time and took my images in three different cities in two countries.

feetYes, eventually we were taking self portraits and this was interesting but where I came slightly unravelled was in Week Four, “Memories”.  I had been going well keeping up, posting my images in the closed Flickr group but when it came to week four, I stalled. We were asked to choose photos from our past of ourselves at any age – happy or sad, painful or important, good or bad and use our journal to retell our story.  It wasn’t that I had so many troublesome photos, I don’t. I have lots of photos and most of them I love.  It was just that they needed time to be with.  I eventually chose my images but then it took time again before I was ready to journal about them.  They just needed time.

school photos

Eventually I did journal about the happy and sad memories that these photos awakened and it was a positive experience. Among those I chose were some school photos. I was nearly always the tallest in my class so I was usually placed in the middle. I look happy especially as a young child, where as in my early teenage years I look a little guarded.  I enjoyed school and these images spanning some 12 years and 4 schools reminded me of my friends and the teachers I loved and some that I didn’t like so much! I thought about what was happening in my life at this time and how this has impacting on the little girl in the images and how it still has an impact on the woman I have become.  It has been an interesting experience.  Thank you Susannah.


8 Comments on “Memories Take Time”

  1. Lani September 19, 2013 at 12:41 am #


  2. Karin Foxwell September 19, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    This would have been a very powerful exercise. I read it with some envy that you had so many photos to choose from and spend time with. For some unknown reason I have only 4 or 5 photos of myself when aged 4, period, and have never seen myself as a baby. I love those I have dearly and have done art projects with them over the years. Anyway, I was so happy for the sharing. X

    • Janet September 19, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Thank you Karin, yes I am lucky to have so many photos and I do appreciate the time I have to spend with them. It was a powerful exercise for me, not all the memories were positive ones but it was a positive exercise to spend time with them and allow them space. I am glad you are able to treasure the few images you have.

  3. Toni September 23, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    Thank you for sharing this and your own very personal journey and discovery. You have inspired me to do this program…a bit scary but exciting at the same time.

    • Janet September 23, 2013 at 5:45 am #

      Thanks Toni I think you would enjoy it. It is really quite gentle. 🙂

  4. Kathryn Taiaroa September 24, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Hi Janet
    I have come across Suzanne recently and really enjoyed her writing. I love that – in your photos your smile is consistent and looks just like you now.
    I am in the process of applying for the MAAT course and I wanted to say to you that I have been inspired by your journey over the past three years. You have a very thoughtful ,careful and considered way of communicating. I have appreciated visiting your blog and reading what you share. It is very generous.What you say and do makes a difference. Thanks Kat

    • Janet September 24, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      Thank you Kathryn for your lovely comments. Good luck with your application. If you come to Auckland for the interview please get in touch I would love to meet you in person. Are you coming to the ANZATA Symposium in Auckland Labour weeekend, which I think interviews will be aroudn this time? Kindest Janet

  5. KAT Taiaroa September 26, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    I would like to come to the Symposium, I checked it out your class looks good:-) there a few other people I would love to hear. Will depend on timing and if I get an interview. I would line both up.Two trips are not feasible at present. And yes I would love to meet you too. I will leave a message on your blog if I get an interview and we could work out details from there.

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