Few understood this and lived a life of preserving memories better than D.W. Griffith, the Father of Film.
"What a grand invention it would be if someone could make a magic box in which we could store the precious moments of our lives and keep them with us, and later on, in dark hours, could open this box and receive for at least a few moments, a breath of its stored memory."
...They did, of course, and the "magic box" allowed him to make his dream come true. We all have such a magic box where every element that makes us dream is stored. For the mystic artist, it is a treasure trove of discoveries from which to create.
When I first came to New York City in 1991, I read a story about D.W. Griffith (the Father of Film). It was about the time when he first came to New York City in 1906 as a starving actor. Just newly wed, he worked odd jobs (to eat) like scraping rust from the iron supports in the new subway for $2.25 per day! When I first got here, myself, it was much the same for me. I was full of creative energy, always writing something new - always new projects on the burner.
That particular story led me to walk through Manhattan, retracing the footsteps of Griffith in order to understand my own destiny. That particular story - with D.W.'s words, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford and the somewhat removed Chaplin - I sensed a familiar connection. It was no coincidence that upon my arrival in New York, I found myself wandering about between Fifth Avenue and Union Square quite often - Eleven East (a brownstone between 5th Avenue and Union Square) was where the "American Mutoscope and Biography Company" had been. That's the place where it all began.
Then I proceeded on to the big library where the paintings of the Astors are hung, only to discover later that had been the next place D.W. Griffith went when he began researching The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance - his two greatest films. He and his wife studied the history of America and even copied soldiers' diaries and letters. So, all his life to that point was preparing him to become a great storyteller in film - one of the first. And every morning, he awoke feeling that he was a "failure." In his early thirties, he was poor and married. "The writer in him clung to his craft, but the mature man knew that other action was necessary." I thought it must have been an exciting illumination to D.W. when he finally realized he was destined to be a pioneer and was doing things that had not ever been done before.