Friday, July 11, 2008

Symbols

This morning, as I slipped four thin pink and gold metallic bangles over my left hand, I instantly remembered Britt's recent visit and us going to eat at the Hindu temple in Dallas, where I bought these bangles. I miss Britt and I don't know when I'll see her again, but in a simple way, the bangles brought back fond memories of her and represent the connection we share, though we live in different states.

As I was walking to work, I realized that head to toe, everything I'm wearing represents a relationship I have or a significant event in my life. My flip flops were given to me by my dad and stepmom, my shorts were bought with a giftcard my mom gave me, and she helped me pick them out too. My underwear was bought when I was shopping with Heather, and my bra was bought with a giftcard from my stepsister. The scarf I'm wearing as a belt was given to me by a former roommate. (Scarf belts are a signature look of mine, by the way. I have an entire draw full of scarves for this purpose) The purse I'm carrying was given to me by my friend Meredith. My class ring was another gift from my mother, and it represents my college experience and the success of earning my first degree. I'm literally wearing all of these relationships, that have enriched my life physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the things that I bought for myself hold symbolic meaning for me. I bought my floppy hat to feel carefree and happy. I'm wearing the shirt that I wore at my interview for A&M; this very shirt on my body now came with me as I first visited this department and began to make the decision to come here. The ring I'm wearing on my right hand I bought about a month ago specifically to be symbolic. It's a silver ring, with three spirals in it. I feel like I'm coming out of a hard season in my life, and I bought this ring to represent that though I may feel confused, things may seem crazy and out of control, that's not the case. God is with me through all of this and is empowering me to handle anything that may come my way. I can handle ze craziness of life.

I'm a sentimental person, that's for sure. I easily become attached to things that I attach meaning to. I don't think it's good to be overly attached to material possessions, but as symbols, they can be quite meaningful. A couple of months ago, I dropped and broke this glass ring that I had bought in Venice. I cried when it broke, and later decided that I would ask my friend going to Italy this summer to buy me another one. Within a few days, I realized that I didn't need to replace it. It was just a thing, not a devastating loss, and I have many other things to remind me of my special time in Europe. I bought it because it was pretty, but didn't wear it a whole lot because it was purple and didn't match everything. As I'm writing this, I realized that I wear the silver ring I bought a month ago on the same finger that I would sometimes wear the Venice ring. At the time, I didn't think of buying the silver ring as a replacement. It may not be from an exotic locale, but I think I prefer the new ring on this finger to the previous one.

So, what about you? Do you own any symbolic possessions that are special to you?

5 comments:

if walled in climb up said...

This is a sweet post--thanks for including me! That makes me feel good. : )

I don't often create personal symbols of my own, but I enjoy seeing symbols for different religions, ideas, etc.

I oddly keep a card that the Mormon missionaries left at my door promoting their free "Finding Faith in Christ" video. They wrote: "Hi! We're the missionaries-we were walking by and saw your tree. We really like it and stopped by to ask about it. We're sorry we missed you, but thought we'd leave you this card for a free video depicting the life of the savior-we hope you enjoy the video! Have a great day! [Huge smiley]" For some reason I haven't been able to throw away the card because it symbolizes so many mixed feelings. Mostly I think it's funny that they used my tree to try to get me to watch their video. I joke with my roommates, "I'm SURE they stopped to ask about our tree."

I keep golden camels on my desk that I once wrote a very memorable and symbolic poem about. Before they were just gold camels my dad brought back from Saudi Arabia, an already meaningful gift of course, but now they mean more when I incarnated them with a poem-story.

Once at the BSM retreat I painted a dove created with tear drop shapes. It has deep significance and I still keep it displayed in my room.

Well, this is getting to be a quite windy answer. Good post! Very thought-provoking!

Anton said...

I have two watches, both nice, both given to me by my father. They are pretty special to me.

Also, much of what I own, clothing wise, was purchased just before going on trips, study abroad in England, study in Spain, trip through Western Europe, mission trip to Guatemala, mission trip to Brazil, mission trip to Kenya and India.

I like that you wear pink and gold bangles.

crackers and cheese said...

Britt, that note about the tree is really funny! I'd love to read the poem about the golden camels sometime. I definitely remember that teardrop dove that you painted on the retreat. After a year and a half of knowing you, that was when I first discovered that you were artistic. And please don't apologize for being long-winded, I've certainly left many long-winded comments!

Anton, father giving son a watch, very poetic. I've seen movie and television scenes of such things, and I'm glad to know that in real life, such a gift is just as special as it is portrayed. That's pretty cool about all your clothes too! I also like my pink and gold bangles.

Last night, I dreamed that my house burned down, and I lost my entire closet of clothes. I don't remember if I had lost anything else, but I just remember thinking what an ordeal it would be to replace all of those clothes. I wasn't sad to lose clothing I was attached to or worried about all the money it would cost, but I was very annoyed at the large amount of time that it would take to do all that shopping to replenish my wardrobe.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

my father gave me a ring to wear on my wedding band finger until whoever "he" is comes into my life (if that time ever comes). if/when that times, i'm supposed to give this ring to "him." it wasn't an expensive ring, and it's not fancy. but i think it's beautiful in its simplicity.

i once left it at a restaurant in kansas city when i was in town for a wedding. despite the fact that the ring was definitely not expensive or fancy (i think it cost like $15 or something) my friends were sweet and called all the places we'd been to that night until we figured out where it was. then they drove me across town so we could pick it up.

to this day, the idea of losing that ring terrifies me, so i wear it less and less often. i know it's just a thing, but i think it's pretty apparent, i've definitely attached a lot of meaning to it.

if walled in climb up said...

Nope, no cats. : ( Oh well, maybe it's better to wait anyway since my life is a bit uncertain right now...

That's funny that in your dream you were most concerned about the time it would take to replace your clothes! I wonder if that says something about your life and priorities right now, Miss Psychologist! lol ; )