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zenele's avatar

How much do you believe in symbolism?

Asked by zenele (8242points) May 18th, 2010

Here’s an example: while walking along the street this evening, I found a cd album cover perched on a brick – about eye level. It was one of those nice ones, that try to make an effort – not quite an LP double-album artwork extravaganza, but a nice two-sided photo and a glossy cardboard finish – as opposed to the usual duldrum plastic jewel case. You know what I mean.

The title was “Open a Window.”

There was no CD inside.

I started imagining who would throw this away, yet not into the bin; just lay it down somewhere for someone to find.

Was it a neat freak (like me) who transferred all his cd’s into albums, thus no longer requiring the cases?

Was it a woman scorned, who threw the cd at her lover then ran away into the nigh; the case reminding him of her and his loss – yet not having the heart to throw away “their favourite album” so he lay it down lovingly for someone to “recycle” – perhaps it’ll become their song, and they“ll have more luck in love…?

Like I said; symbolism.

Do you have experiences when you read something into an object, a find, or a thought or clue; perhaps a word or a tv program or maybe a song?

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23 Answers

zenele's avatar

Will you all stop the Observing and answer already?

chyna's avatar

I love this question. Yes, I have found many items and wondered what or who it meant to someone. I have seen cassettes with the ribbons pulled out of the cassettes and wondered if the music inside once meant something to someone, but was pulled out in anger. I know that I have done the same thing myself. Broken off with a boyfriend and thrown out “our song” in a fit of rage.

Trillian's avatar

I do sometimes. I read a book a few years ago that articulated a lot of things I had thought about signs and symbols. If you ever get a chance, read Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show.
I know that psychologically the mind is always trying to make patterns out of chaos, but I can’t help that think that there is something else, just beyond the veil…
I’ll tell you if I see it after I get back from Peru and the Ayahuasca experience…

YARNLADY's avatar

To me symbolism is something that comes from within. What you have described is mere coincidence. While some can reach inside a see ‘meaning’ in serendipity, it is based on experience, not symbolism.

Some objects seem to be imbued with symbolism, whether actual, or societal such as candles/fire, colors, smells, the sun/moon and even fog.

AmWiser's avatar

Yes, especially when someone is on my mind (be they alive or deceased) and something only pertaining to that person crosses my path.

zenele's avatar

@Trillian One of my fave places on earth – Peru—enjoy your trip and let us know about it.

ETpro's avatar

Sure, I think it is just human to occasionally make up a story or two about what some seeming found symbol must mean. That’s certainly an intriguing one. I can’t top that at the moment. Last one I found and wondered about was an empty box for one of those big wand-style vibrators left on the sidewalk in front of the building next door. The stories that one suggested are NSFW.

zenele's avatar

@ETpro NSFW – but safe for this thread. Talk to me.

Val123's avatar

OK…are you asking if we can imagine reconstructing an event or an emotion on the part of the last person to touch the item? On that I will have to think. (Ummm…bet someone stole the CD and got rid of the case to make it easier to “escape” and it just happened to land the way it did when he flung it! I suck. I know!) I can say that there have been times in my life when some thing very emotional had occurred, and random coincidences seemed to have special meaning. This was especially true after my father died. .... But that’s not what you’re asking….I shall go ponder….OK. Old photographs of regular people always get me. I mean old, as in the late to early 19th century. The black and white ones where they used the flash powder. Everyone always looks so stern and solemn, and you wonder if that was because they had a hard life, or because they were required to “FREEZE!” for the photographer for however long. When I see those pictures at estate sales (which usually come about because one or both of the former owners have passed) I wonder who those people are, and I wonder who they are in relation to the owners of the estate….and estate sales are usually presided over by the kids of the previous owners. I wonder what happened to the people in the picture right after the picture was taken, where they went, what they did, and how the picture ended up here. I wonder who was the last person to look at the picture that had any real emotional tie to the people in the photograph. Was it a picture of their mother or grandmother? Or their father as a baby in the days when all babies wore long white gowns? .... I like estate sales, but they always fill me with sadness. It’s not just the pictures. It’s the things that people before me collected, that I like too, and I wonder where they got them, and did they see what I saw in them? I don’t treat the things I get at estate sales casually…..

ETpro's avatar

OK @zenele, To recap, this was my thought about a AC vibrator box I saw sitting on the curb waiting for the trash man to collect it.

It had been an exhausting day, but now she was home from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. It was a stark and dormy night as the coed rushed up the three flights of stairs. Breathless, she burst into her little apartment. The day’s mail had finally brought the long-awaited package. She tore into the box with gusto. Long had she dreamed of the release it’s raunchy Mystic Massager would bring. Her breathing quickened as she pulled the device from the box and gazed at its assorted naughty attachments. She could feel her love dew moistening her panties. She plugged the mean machine into the nearest outlets, leaned back into the soft couch and spread her legs. She snapped the finger-shaped rubber tip on the vibrator, pulled her skirt up and pushed the tip into her sopping panties. She clicked the switch and… nothing happened.

zenele's avatar


Edit: I especially liked the opening, and I await now with Brated Beath for the end… ;-)

Val123's avatar

@Zen….“Brated Beath”???? (I wait not! ‘Specially not “Brated!”) Um…this reminds me of a song I heard by KISS the other day…“Breth I hear you callin’...but I can’t come home right now..”

zenele's avatar

@Val123 You assume to soon… She wrote, and I copy paste quote: “It was a stark and dormy night”

ETpro's avatar

@zenele No, that is the end. The damned thing didn’t work. Defective out of the box. That’s what it was doing in the trash. :-)

zenele's avatar

Awwwww @ETproYou definately have to write some Penthouse Forum letters (I’ve never read them, I only look at the pictures I swear.)

You write really, really well.

ETpro's avatar

Thanks so much, @zenele. I have a technical book out and have published a few pieces in men’s magazines as well. It’s a heloo of a lot more fun than writing ahout strategies for electronic circuit miniaturization.

Val123's avatar

@Zen. Nay. Ju assume! I was playing off of your play! I wrote, and I copy and paste, quote: “Breth I hear you callin’...but I can’t come home right now..”

zenele's avatar

@ETpro You remind me of an intellectual Dave Barry.

ETpro's avatar

@zenele That just may be the sweetest thing anyone has ever said about me. Thanks.

Axemusica's avatar

this question makes me want to go for a walk on this beautiful day, lol.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am struck by the title “Open a Window” and the fact that the case was empty. Maybe it was someone who was leaving a message that we should not get so hung up on electronics and that we should take a good look at the world around us.

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