Author and researcher Lynne Kelly has done tremendous work in investigating how landscape, memory, knowledge, lore, all intersect in traditional and indigenous systems.
I recently finished her book the Memory Code, which I encourage you to buy, devour, and reap inspiration from. Not only has she personally investigated a myriad of traditional knowledge keeping (aka memory palace) approaches, but she has studied the monuments of the world – Stonehenge, Easter Island, the Nazca Lines, Canyon de Chelly, and many others – to increase her confidence that these sites simultaneously serve as communal maps of knowledge and maps of the larger landscape, and that these worlds of map, knowledge, the land, culture, criss-cross and entangle so much so that you cannot pull them apart. That originally humans experienced the world as a palace of knowledge, wisdom, ancestry, pilgrimage, wonder, and that we continue even today to hold on to this original human experiences with our pale echoes of this original experience as museums, libraries, colleges.
Your mission, my dear mythic cartographers, should you choose to accept it: re-experience, re-map, re-weave the world into your bodies and minds as a palace of wonder, of knowledge, of ancestry, of wisdom. Set off on your pilgrimage across the starry sky, across the rugged wilderness, through your city, your neighborhood, your yard, your house, and across the palm of your hand, and recreate this anew as the invisible treasure house of that which we all lost – but only because we stopped caring.
Read on for more of Lynne’s personal adventures in memory!