Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Symbols

The human species finds itself endlessly seeking reaffirmation of itself in the symbols which represent the concrete, the abstract, the spiritual and emotional lodestones of their lives. We grasp a concrete example of reality and pull it to our hearts as if infused with the essence of that which we seek to quantify.

We adorn ourselves with jewellery, we engrave meaning on our skin, we look at the way the sun rises and the clouds bloom and call the early falling of dusk an omen.

We humans are nothing if not credulous, infused with the yearning to look beyond the mundane and find significance that somehow makes sense of the chaos of an uncaring universe.

Even the most self-named sceptic has some small part of them that hopes, perhaps quietly, secretly, for a sign that a certain path, once taken, is one which lead to ultimate contentment.

I certainly am no different and truth be told, am probably more credulous in some respects. My Irish upbringing has infused my life with the concept of wonder beyond the mortal ken, of things unseen and emotions felt and perceptions intrinsically sensed not with the gross reality of touch or sight but deep inside where our reptilian brain quivers.

Mind you, that fey quality battles with the hard practicality that a hard-headed, practical person has needed all her life when organizing, taking charge and dealing with the messy realities of her birth family and subsequent relationships.

And the symbols we infuse with meaning are fiercely personal to each of us – albeit some are universal in nature, it is the interpretation and individual experience that infuse them with import and meaning.

Thus, for me, the wedding ring I put on almost 27 years ago was taken off within months as while I can admire rings on others, my ugly fingers (washerwoman hands I call them), are not designed for rings with their thin length and knobbly knuckles. His commitment to me that July day was all the proof I needed of his intent and caring, I didn`t need a gold ring to prove it. Yet for most of our time together, I have worn his silver necklace around my neck ... and his “D”, tattoed on my buttock remains a poignant and unregretted reminder of how we related for so many years. The silver rings in my most private places remain – for now at least (although I ponder and am uncertain of their future), nestled in among the hidden places, screened and lost among the curls which in themselves are yet another sign of change ... but each time I hold him or kiss him, I see their mates in his ears and am reminded.

I have no regrets about these permanent symbols of my commitment and adoration of him. No matter what the future holds, the past remains what the past was – and I cannot and do not regret actions taken in joy, in affirmation and in the belief that while change is inevitable, one gambles on hope.

Symbols are in the end, intensely and uniquely personal to the individual. Each of us grasps to our hearts the concepts and intricate reminders of emotions felt, memories infused with the realities of our existence, our beliefs and our dreams.

There are no certainties, just the whisper of perhaps in the ether of futures which remain possibilities only.

6 comments:

Buffalo said...

The truly important symbols are the ones we carry in our heart. The past is written, the present transient, and the future merely a hope.

M:e said...

Have you been dipping into my mind again sweety? There I was last night, thinking about trying to write a post about how I'd stopped wearing most of my jewellery since M and I got together, and what the signficance was in the few pieces I do still wear, only to find this posting this morning. I think we must sometimes share some brain cells...but I do like that we do.

love and hugs xxx

selkie said...

Buff- you're exactly right.

M:e- I can't think of anyone I would RATHER share brain cells with than you! and you're right- I've noticed we mesh on our thoughts as well.

Loving Annie said...

Selkie,
Those symbold give tangible feeling to our memories. They are imnportant in forming us, and in a way, keep us connected to our dreams...

Happy Valentine's Day to you and those you love --

THE Michael said...

Sorry......you were saying?

(Goes back to staring at pic.......)

selkie said...

Annie- I think that's an excellent way of looking at it ... "tangible" you're right of course which is why we grasp them so close to our hearts.

Michael (smacks him upside the head)