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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Take Time To Broaden Your Horizons

By Jennifer James The Spokesman-Rev

“We are free when our actions emanate from our total personality, when they express it, when they resemble it in the indefinable way a work of art sometimes does the artist.” Henri Bergson, philosopher

Dear Jennifer, I need some advice. I’m in high school and I hope to someday be in the entertainment business by doing screen writing, producing and other stuff like that. But I do not know who to talk to. I do plan to go to college, The Film Institute, for video production, but for right now I would just like to be able to have my stuff looked at. - Marlee

Dear Marlee, You may not want my comments because I would say, “Deepen your art.” Expand your education beyond technical production so that you have something to write.

Follow the lead of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and combine the learning of your craft with life experience and education. Go first to a liberal arts college, even if it is just for two years. Add some years and some bandwidth to your mind and heart.

Join a group of young artists now to share your ideas and scripts. They will help you evaluate your work and support your dreams. You can find such a group through your school or through one of the art institutes in Seattle. Seattle is the perfect city for you to make contacts because it is so active in all the arts.

I do remember being your age and wondering if there was room in my head for all the creative dreams that swirled around. I had a powerful desire to share what I thought I understood.

I ached because I could not dance or sing my passions as others could. I couldn’t paint or sculpt. I was filled with ideas and had only a clumsy pen.

I did not pursue some of my dreams. I encourage you to do better. Stay on track, but slow the pace. You will move forward by going deeper. - Jennifer

Dear Readers, Some time ago I said I would try harder to understand the “recovered memory” dispute because of my concerns that groups such as the False Memory Syndrome Foundation were disputing memories that were probably far closer to truth than lie.

A new book has just been published by Harvard University Press, “The Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse,” by Jennifer J. Freyd. Freyd is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon. She has written a well-researched book on how and why memories can be lost and recovered.

She accepts that some claims of recovered memory may be fabricated or reinforced by therapists. She describes memory as “not a fixed photographic record but a continuing, collaborative, socially driven process. There are lots of ways to forget and lots of ways to remember.”

But it is far more likely that a child will suppress memories of abuse, because of their age and dependence on the abuser’s care and protection, than create abuse memories out of nothing. I wonder what is happening in the minds of the two young children of Nicole Brown and O.J. Simpson.

It is far more likely that adult abusers or guilty parents will dismiss recovered memories in their own efforts at denial. Adults use suppression mechanisms similar to those of children.

There may be no greater pain than the confrontation by your own grown child that you inflicted permanent damage when they were far too young to defend themselves. It is easier to deny to the adult child than to admit to the abuse of the innocent child.

The author’s solution is that each claim be examined on a case-by-case basis as we do in most civil and criminal trials. The creation of a “false memory syndrome” to create a potential blanket exoneration of abusers is absurd. But, again, it is something all societies and governments have done for thousands of years to deny that they ever participated in witch-burning, slavery, torture or war crimes.

Those with power tend to deny their acts, even when obvious, until enough of the powerless turn the tables. Such power shifts are long, difficult processes filled with conflicting data and controversy, but somehow over time, the human soul and memory sorts it out. Alice Miller’s books such as “Thou Shalt Not Be Aware” examine this process.

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Jennifer James The Spokesman-Review

Wordcount: 736
Tags: column

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