Personal Observations

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Mirth, Magic and Minstrels

Monday, February 16th, 2015

MirthMagicMinstrel

I live in a small town.  I wasn’t born in a small town as John Cougar Mellencamp croons, but I got to one as soon as I could.

It’s a town where everybody knows your name, and everybody at the local diner cries “NORM!” when you walk in…just like the show, Cheers.

When the temperature isn’t 18 below zero, and we’re not covered in five feet of snow, something magical happens in this small town.  Something completely random and delightful.

A wandering minstrel appears.

Huh?  Yeah.  A dude strolls about small-town-main-street USA strumming an acoustic guitar while singing.

What’s so magical about that?  I mean…the guy is average age, average height, average weight.  But what he does is magic, man.  Why? Because he’s a self-propelling joy machine.  And that joy is infectious.

I’ve never heard him play.  Seems I’m always spotting our small town minstrel while I’m driving.  But it doesn’t matter what he sounds like.  It doesn’t matter if he’s playing Hendrix or Prelude for Lute in C minor by Bach.  It doesn’t matter if he has the voice of Kermit the frog, or Bocelli.  The performance isn’t where the magic is.

You see, he cares not what the world thinks of him.  He makes his joy anyway.  He doesn’t have to have a record deal to perform.  He doesn’t get paid for what he does.  He doesn’t even require an audience! He just does for the joy of it.

And in so doing, he gives me merriment.  I’d like to think he spreads his good juju to all the townspeople too.  At least I hope everybody around here appreciates him as much as I do.

Every time I see the Wandering Minstrel doing his thing, it makes me beam.  Heck, HE’S beaming.  His mirth in palpable.  I love this guy for the gift he gives…the gift of being himself, doing what makes him happy, and thus spreading good vibes to others.

So…what’s the symbolism here?  What’s the morel of the story?

Be you. Sod what everybody else thinks.  Be your own Joy Machine.  You don’t need financial backing.  You don’t need permission.  Just do it.  Do it for the love of it.  The consequences of your giddy escapades will be astounding and far-reaching.

Mirth on,

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Want the Bad News? It’s Not Coming From Me.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

BadNews

Want the Bad News? You won’t get it from me.

I get a lot of emails.  I don’t answer all of them, but I DO read each and every one.  A number of emails are quick to point out the absence of negative meanings for a sign or symbol on my websites.

It’s true.  Currently, I have over 1,000 articles written on various symbolic meanings.  If you read each article, you’ll maybe find three or four citations that might be deemed negative.

Many well-intentioned folks ask why that is.  They ask why I don’t mention the symbolism of death about a certain animal.  Why not mention the connection to the devil with a certain symbol?  And what about that flower that means avarice?  Or what about the bad omen implied when a certain bird flies by?

Valid questions.  I mean…for every positive, there is a negative.  It’s the universal law of polarity.  So why not mention the “bad” stuff with the good?

My answer is pretty simple.  There are over 6 million websites on the internet. There are over 10,000 news channels broadcast around the world.  There are over 7 billion people in the world.

If you want the bad news…just look around the internet, turn on the news, or ask somebody…you will inevitably get it.

Better yet – if you want the bad news – just focus on bad stuff for awhile.  The bad answers will come.  I guarantee it.

There are negative observations enough without me contributing more.

Now, I’m all for a balanced debate.  I’m no Pollyanna with a sugar plum shoved up her bum.  Bad stuff happens.  There’s a dark side to every light.  But in all honesty, I’ve had my fill of wading through crummy energy.

I strive to gear my thoughts, my life and my writing towards the good juju.  I want to inspire.  I want to enlighten. I want to energize.  There are plenty of other sources in the world that can do otherwise for you if that’s what you want.  But if you want a bad rap sheet on symbolic meanings from me…sorry…I’m not your gal.

Do some animals, symbols, etc. have negative meanings?  Yeah.  Sure.  Lots of stuff carries meaning of foreboding and fear.

But let me ask you…where do those meanings come from?  For that matter, where do ANY meanings come from?  They come from the human mind.   They come from our ancestors who passed on their observations.  They come from our parents.  They come from you and me.  They come from our biases and experiences.

Some might argue meaning comes from the Divine (the deity of our own understanding).  I agree.  However, the minute a Divine insight is bestowed upon a human – it goes through a series of filters.  Filters of experience, judgment, discernment, etc.  That Divine wisdom will never be as pure as it originated once it passes through the filter known as human cognition.

So what does all that mean?  It means the realm of symbolic meanings is infinitely open to interpretation and personalization.

In essence, the world is your oyster…and so are the meanings rooted within it.  Make it sparkly….or make it slimy.  Your choice.  Your oyster. 

Just thoughts.

Brightly,

Avia

 

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Tsk, Tsk. Symbolism of Copycats

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Copycatting

Copycatting.  Plagiarism.  Claiming material as one’s own, when it’s not.  It happens all the time.  The act is especially rampant in this Internet age when the copy-paste function is just a few clicks away.

I don’t have kids.  Well, I take that back.  I DO have children.  They’re names are:  “My Work” and “My Websites.”  Yeah, it’s THAT big of a deal.

So, when I see blatant copying of my hard work without a hint attribution – it feels like someone is stealing my kids.

Over the years, I’ve coaxed myself into (mostly) ignoring the copycat syndrome.  I reason that information is meant to be shared.  I even reason that my stuff must be pretty good if folks want to use it as their own.  I also tell myself it could be an honest mistake…an oversight of etiquette, or simply forgetting to give credit to the source of whatever material being used.

It’s a good thing I calm myself into these rationalizations.  Why?  Because there’s very little I can do about plagiarism.  Sure…I copyright my material.  I’ve even trademarked my brand.  I also clearly state proper use of my material on my policy page. But folks are still going to do whatever they do.  It’s all just another lesson about control…specifically, the only control I have is the control of myself and my actions.

So what’s the symbolism of a copycat?  Sadly, I wish the use of ‘cat’ hadn’t been adopted in this 19th century American term.  Cats are astoundingly original.  They have no use for copying.

In truth, the symbolic meaning behind a copycat deals with an underlying insecurity.  It has nothing to do with having lack of originality.  Why?  Because everybody is original.  Everybody is unique.  Everybody is capable of spectacular brilliance in expression.  It’s how humans are built – we’re designed to create remarkable stuff.

Copycatting2

Nope – the symbolic root of the act of plagiarism is insecurity – specifically a fear of taking responsibility.  I get it.  It’s tough to step out.  Tough to expose oneself.  It’s not easy to break out of the drone mentality and create something wildly original.  Much easier to copy.  That way, the fault lies elsewhere.  Or…there is no consequence (good or bad) to being bold, breaking the mold, and being different than everybody else.  That’s a sad mental prison to be in, and I truly feel bad for copycats.

Thankfully, there’s good stuff that comes from replication.  Really good stuff.  Tons of folks use my material all over the world – and they do so by giving credit to my work.  I LOVE THAT!  I’m all about sharing the joy of symbolism.  The more sharing and spreading the word – the more people are reached – the more our world is exposed to a fascinating, healing way of living…symbolic living.  Rock on!

Am I vain to want credit for my work?  Maybe.  Perhaps one day I’ll coax myself to a place of complete neutrality about copycatting….not caring one whit about it.  I’ve done a good job at letting it go so far.

But in the end…like having kids…I made this thing.  I created it.  Worked hard at it.  Gnashed my teeth, and rendered garments over it…for hours, days, weeks, years.  You get the idea.  This is my baby.  I can’t quell my pride completely.

I’d like to think it’s healthy to stake claim for producing good work.  If I didn’t care so much – that would reflect in my efforts, which essentially means you’d be getting crummy stuff from me.  That’s no good, wouldn’t you agree?

Just thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading!

Avia

 

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