Sunday, March 04, 2012

Auspicious Symbols

I saw this idea on The Happiness Project and it made me put on my blog-posting hat. Do I have symbols and images that I repeatedly return to? While I wouldn't necessarily call them "auspicious," I was able to come up with a few recurring symbols almost instantly. I suppose if I ran a word frequency check against some of my poetry you'd find certain words and images keep appearing time and again...but this list is just from the top of my head.

1) Trees.

Lonely trees, shade-givers that are large, gnarled and lovely in the middle of an otherwise empty field, low branches ripe for climbing, heavy foliage. When I was a kid, my imaginary friend was a dryad. She lived in a linden tree. Not that you needed to know that…for this same reason, I'm starting to love bonsai as well. The ones we can't afford, because they've been tended for longer than I've been alive...but so what? They're lovely and haunting. Also? I love ruins, so the photo above, from Learn NC, captures both.

2) The color that's exactly between orange and red. It's my new happy color. It's also the color of my favorite flower, those burning orange and yellow calla lilies.

(We made up a Valentine's bouquet with these this year; it's the first time I've seen them in Brazil.)

3) Owls. For some reason, I keep wanting to buy baby stuff with owls on it. The big eyes, the night-ishness of them...I don't know what it is, but I've suddenly become keen on them. And then of course, there was that iconic Kate Spade purse that I would love to have…and this book, which I did buy, and can't wait to read:

4) Boats. I saw a fishing boat the other day, anchored close to the beach, surrounded by flocks and flocks of birds. It mesmerized me. Sea symbols in general resonate with me. Anchors, mermaid's tails, sea glass, shells, bones washed clean…and fish. When we go to the hippie fair and I look at all the art, I keep coming back to the ones with fish. But we don't have space for all that on our walls...and yet I found a carved fish a few months ago that made its way home with us...and my mother-in-law gave us the most adorable fish puzzle that's sitting atop my writing shelf...we're turning into an aquarium!

5) Saint Francis is my other art lust; I'm always being drawn to paintings featuring this saint. Also, my two favorite crosses belong to his order: the San Damiano and the Tau.

What are some of your recurring symbols and images?

1 comment:

anne said...

awesome post -- provocative! The owl book is great, by the way. we have it here :)
trees. water. hm. bread. (photos of, images, actual object)
colors in the cranberry family.and shades of brown.
I am also taken w/St Francis of Assisi. And orthodox iconic art images. Old churches and their art in general/also old temples, mosques, etc.
will have to ponder this some more, quietly! thanks for asking the question!