It is not one of my favorites. The leaves have turned colors and are falling and everywhere are the signs of death. What blossomed in the Spring and Summer are now lying shriveled and dead on the ground.
Well, isn’t all of this a cheerful start to the day?
It’s sad, but it is a true collection of seasonal signs with only the icy cold of another Winter waiting around the corner to cover it all with snow.
I know that I am wallowing in Symbolism here, but, dang it; these things become identifiable symbols for a reason.
Our Civilization is awash with Symbols of all kinds. Every day we speak, learn, and make decisions based on a mountain of Symbols that are, in a very real way, shortcuts of accumulated information and knowledge.
We make decisions about people we really don’t know based on Symbolism. For example: We could be sauntering down the street and we see someone, a complete stranger, walking toward us. When we look at the approaching stranger we pick up on a couple of Symbols that we interpret to help us make a decision about the stranger.
The stranger is wearing a long white coat and draped around this person’s neck is a stethoscope. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! Based solely on those two Symbolic objects we would almost certainly assume that it is a Physician coming our way. No words have been spoken. You have no prior knowledge of them. It is all based on the Symbols that our Civilization has created. Based on our identification of “The Physician” we then make other assumptions. This person is well educated, well paid, and very intelligent. None of those things might be true, but we have already made up our minds.
What if the next person coming down the street has long straggly hair and is dressed in brightly colored and flashy clothing, has tattoos and maybe a piercing or two. The first reaction might be that this character is some lunatic or unsavory person. We might even consider crossing the street to avoid them.
With so many pieces of Symbolism guiding and pushing our daily lives it occurred to me much too early one Sunday morning that our written language could very easily have developed like Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics with symbols holding concepts rather than sounds like our alphabet today. Some Asian languages i.e. Chinese, use their script to convey complex concepts as well as objects. It can be cumbersome, requiring thousands of pictographs, but it obviously works.
Something else that is obvious is that I spent too much time without sleep and caffeine on that Sunday morning. This subject is not the kind of thing that normally rolls around in my brain. On most days my brain cells are busy making up “knock-knock” jokes or writing up another blog entry that proves that I was a liberal arts graduate.