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Dialogues with Material Objects

An emergent area regarding the use of inner speech and dialogue is the use of material/non-human objects in one’s environment or neighbourhood to enter into dialogue with when establishing well-being and negotiating illness. Examples are numerous but include persons visiting/having internally represented conversations with particular buildings, trees, the ocean, qualities of light. Significant objects or places provide a readily available interlocutor, akin to a religious figure or close friend, for maintaining well-being, contemplating life decisions and negotiating disruption, contingency and depression. Here, artist Benjamin Trimmier visits a particular tree in Washington Square that he has been drawing and communing with for many years, especially in times of uncertainty, and which he calls Yoda.

Yoda, the tree, while ageing and gnarled and weathered provides a source not just of aesthetic inspiration but also a form of continuity in life. As a symbol of endurance and much else besides, Yoda offers a constant presence and judgemental audience for the expression of feelings, stories and dilemmas, and through ongoing inner dialogues and conversations provides a means of mediating emotion, making decisions, thinking through events and gaining  a better understanding of the world and its contingencies.

Short Video Extract of Inner Dialogue with Yoda

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