Z: Ziljan (and the symbols of authentic inspiration)

 The Wishbone Alphabet – an experiment, of course, with attitude, life and the eponymous soup.

I’m not totally against material possessions, just meaningless stuff we clutter our selves and spaces with. Some things can be the physical representations of ideals, like achieving the highest standard of musical expression (I'm merely a listener, picked Ziljan for the symbol/cymbal pun, shame on me, but then again, this is the end of the A-Z Challenge, I’m allowed to play.)

My best symbol is my dragonfly, which is tattooed on my left shoulder and therefore unlikely to get cleared out. It represents the ability to transform oneself, and since I have used it correctly (smug but true) it has become a powerful prompt in my life. I like tattoos but I only have the one, because so far it’s all I’ve needed. I have pondered other designs, such as a periwinkle shell, a tiny home for a creature that survives the fiercest storms, but my dragonfly doesn’t seem to need any company.

The biggest concentration of physical symbolic stuff in our house is balanced on the shelves of my Box Office, which was meant to be a cupboard before it morphed into a miniature studio. They are my quirky hooks of memory, captures of feeling and place, reminding me what I do, and why. Photographs, postcards, a piece of volcanic rock, two glass snails called Beard and Goat, wedding tiara, fairy lights, glow-in-the-dark stars…

Down in the freezing neglected dining room (good for storing jam) is the cabinet of curiosities, also provoking memory and imagination. In here, currently, amongst other objects; two badger skulls, one bird skull (blackbird sized) and some plastic flowers. 

These things need revisiting, and moving about, because if you leave them in one place too long you are in danger of not paying attention to them anymore. Unnoticed stuff loses meaning, gets demoted to clutter. Sometimes the novelty simply wears off. If you lose appreciation for something, it needs to be moved on. I love (and am betting on some empathising here) going through our house and clearing out everything that we no longer communicate with, passing it on to be re-appreciated, making space for us. Then I can walk around this bonkers cottage, this collection of negative adjectives; under-heated, mouldy, rat chewed carpet, ill-fitting doors, half assed paint jobs, scatterings of dust, cobweb, spider poo, sawdust, dog hair, mud, icy drafts; I see it all and I love it, because we live here. This house we live in is a symbol of our odd but sensible (if you can look at them correctly) choices, the ordinary miracle of our lives.

Thank you very much, you’ve been a wonderful audience, please come back again soon! I’m here everyday and I can recommend the soup! 


Stephanie V said…
Ha! I got the pun right away. Good one.
Yes, our homes are symbols of our lives. I love the talismans that I have as well. Funny how reading your post made me go and look at some with renewed insight.
Suze said…
'I like tattoos but I only have the one, because so far it’s all I’ve needed.'


'These things need revisiting, and moving about, because if you leave them in one place too long you are in danger of not paying attention to them anymore.'

have artfully articulated my perspective on why I constantly clear out and air out. I don't want to miss anything. I don't want things to go stale and become neglected and lose their meaning. So I shuffle things about, let go and am highly selective of what I bring in because I intend to steward it, not just mindlessly accumulate.

I'm the same way with the blogs I follow.

I'll be keeping yours, if that's okay.

So happy to have come across your glass snails and icy drafts.

All respect,
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you Stephanie V- I dare say there are some beautiful hand crafted objects in your living space :-)

And Suze- likewise I will be popping over for breakfast (even if it's not Mr Suze cooking) Clearing out is a wonderful thing, and so is finding awesome new stuff! :-) Thank you for all your lovely comments :-)
Teresa Cypher said…
The soup is wonderful! So glad our paths crossed, Lily! And I for one, will come back again and again for the wonderful soup you serve up here! :-) Loved this post. This line: "Unnoticed stuff loses meaning, gets demoted to clutter." is amazing in its simplicity and its impact.

I'll be back :-)
Lisa Southard said…
Thank you Teresa, glad you are savouring the soup! I will be making a few star voyages over to you too :-)
A wonderful reminder and a great Z post to close it all out. Maybe that's why I'm constantly rearranging, moving, re-imagining, etc. I hold onto things far too closely.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z
Dear Lily: a wonderful, memorable entry! xoxox jean!

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