The Power of Symbols


I read this in my daily meditation book this morning and wanted to share it. It's written by Mark Nepo in his book titled "The Book of Awakenings". It sums up the importance of photography to many people, including myself. Photography can be a symbol to take us back to a time long past, maybe even forgotten.The Power Of SymbolsIf you truly hold a stone, you can feel the mountain it came from. A caveman picking berries was cornered by a wild and not extinct creature, and when he was spared by the sudden snap of a tree limb that scared the beast off, he took a piece of the fallen bough as a good luck charm. And so the story of symbols began.People have always saved scraps of their experience to help remind them of the forces of life that can't always be seen. Filled with the timeless rhythm of the ocean, we pocket a shell and carry it thousands of miles to know that presence of ocean when we are hours from the sea. It is why we treasure certain songs, why we have ticket stubs and dried flowers.Symbols are living mirrors of the deepest understandings that have no words. I know of two friends who made it through Vietnam. They were rehabilitated in Italy and before coming home, they split a copper lire, each holding dear the others half, as if it were the break of heart forever left in that godforsaken jungle.We ask the smallest items of everyday life to carry unbearable meaning for us, and the dearest ones work like Aladdin's lamp. All we have to do is rub them slowly, and feelings and long times gone come and live again, or basic truths hard to keep in view return.Recall a special moment in growing up.Meditate on the feeling of this moment until the scene comes into view. Let it open you to gifts you don't always remember.