From their very origin, the imagination colors the paintings it will want to see again. – Gaston Bachelard
So I’m sure someone is asking him/herself, “So what? We remember experiences more easily and vividly when they seem unique – why is that important?”
The reason vivid images are important is the way they come to contain us. Like I said in my last blog: It’s a two-for-one event. But the part that really stays with us (no pun intended) is the part that is all about us. To make this point clearer, let’s look at the distinction between memory (as fact) and reverie (as imagination).
I’m going to take a break from my series of clarifiers for a while. I want to go back to an idea I introduced earlier: Metonymy (ma-tôn-O-me).
Here’s a link to the original blog post: …when part becomes the whole…
So, why revisit an arcane term from poetry about an obscure figure of speech? What does this have to do with coaching, or more broadly with “getting along with people”?
I’m interested in metonymy because it illustrates the pattern of thinking which applies to images; the way we move from image to word and back.
“A-ton-of-me / On-a-me / Makes for / Metonymy” First stanza of the poem Metonymy by the Creative Leap Coach
I have always enjoyed poetry. I love the crazy way it mashes up things against one another. But that’s not really what makes poetry important. It’s how poetry offers us different representations for our experience. That’s what makes poetry important.
The idea behind “metonymy” is letting the part stand-in for the whole. I can refer to “all writers” by referencing “the power of the almighty pen.” The pen is stand-in for the whole. But really a better definition would be “the Unique” which becomes “the One.” It’s not just any part of the whole, it is most unique part and it’s not just the whole it is the one, the singular, the whole which cannot be compared to anything else.