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5.31.04 Personal symbols, continued

I've thought of more since yesterday:

Cosmopolitan glass. The inverted-triangle-on-a-stem of a martini glass, fill with the deadly combo of vodka and sweetened lime juice and a dash of cranberry. Not as deep a symbol as the fish, but an emblem for our film-making business. It is living life over the top, I think. Friendship + entrepreneurship + tipsy fun. Maria gave me a small stained glass version that now hangs in my front window. A tribute to "Sex and the City" -- women with passionate go-get-em lives. We haven't been so profane as to put a cosmo glass on our business cards, but our tag line is "short films... with a dash of cranberry." The "cranberry" has become important in establishing our brand -- we are not just the cheap alternative to bland industrial productions. We have our own style.

Passport stamps. This symbol is relatively new, like the cosmo glass. It is clearly the cosmopolitan perspective -- open to new cultures, unafraid of new places. I created a set of paintbrushes (more like rubber stamps) in Photoshop by scanning in the pages of all Jim's old passports. He's gone just about everywhere. So when I use passport stamps as design elements (e.g., this journal background), it's not just about where I have been but about all the magical places I've never been.

Bathroom window. What??? I don't know if this is a symbol or whether it represents a "sacred place." It's a coarse cliché that everyone does their best thinking in the bathroom and in some households it's the only place you can find a moment of peace and quiet. The house I grew up in has a window next to the toilet. The glass has a typical privacy pattern on it, but the lower sash is often raised a few inches, even in winter, to circulate the air. The house is on a hill so you can look out onto rooftops, trees, sky, and distant buildings. Whenever I visit my parents, looking out that window takes me back to high school. If it is summer, maybe my memory has a radio broadcasting baseball in the background. But usually, in my memory, it is a gray autumn Saturday and I am just back from the university library where I've been researching Robert Frost. It is a cramped, noisy house with six people competing for space, but out this window my imagination flies. For some reason this window is always connected with my discovery of the limitlessness of the mind. Funny how those connections get made, isn't it?

 

 

OTHER STUFF 

Amazon link to "Moments of Being"Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf

From the introduction by Jeanne Schulkind: "Certain images -- involving sights, sounds, odours -- also appear to have permeated the innermost fibres of her being, so that they too assume a symbolic significance: the waves breaking; the acorn of the blind being drawn across the floor; the nutty smelling gorse; the rooks cawing; the colour of the flowers on her mother's dress. Though these experiences occur on a purely sensual level they have that enduring force for VW which makes them no less moments of being than those flashes of recognition involving understanding."

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The sacred place acts as "an inexhaustible source of power and sacredness and enables man, simply by entering it, to have a share in the power, to hold communion with the sacredness."
- Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and The Profane: The Nature of Religion
 

 

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