1. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    totems, talismans and charms

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Oxymaroon, May 16, 2020.

    The commonest portable charm would be a crucifix or amulet on a neck-chain; yesteryear, it was almost as common to keep a rabbit's foot on the key ring or a lucky coin in the watch pocket, but people have other kinds of icons and charms, with a special personal significance, that they wear or carry for emotional security.
    Blankets do count!
    Many people also have some object that they like to keep in their work-space, where they can look at and touch it often - for inspiration, solace, to make a wish on, to ask for advice.

    My son, when he was a child, used to have a small stuffed cat; he'd chew on its ear when he was nervous. He secretly still carries a tiny pewter one in his pocket.
    A friend of mine has a potato-shaped stone that she found on the beach the summer she got her first job and met her husband. She keeps it on her desk and strokes when she's perplexed over a problem.
    Years ago, I had a 2" gladius-style sword on a silver chain that I wore under my shirt - nobody's business! - for a morale boost. Now I have a little hand-carved (by my lover) horse in my book-case where I see it every time i sit down at my desk.

    Do you have a mascot or medicine-pouch or something?
     
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  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Not sure if this is in the same mold but I lettered in high school and I've kept that jacket to this day. Even when it was new, I had already started affixing to it little tokens I'd picked up along the way. There's a pin I won in 3rd grade for writing that was immediately affixed, then later my DLIFLC crest upon graduating from there. Perhaps not the same as actually wearing a talisman (I don't wear the jacket), but it serves a similar purpose as a vessel for memories and ideas.
     
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  3. GrahamLewis

    GrahamLewis Let me chew on your criticism a bit Contributor

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    Somewhere in a box of stuff I brought home when I retired I have a small piece of driftwood from the shore of Lake Superior. I had worn it smooth on one side from simply rubbing my thumb on it. I loved the texture, and liked it because it reminded me that nature is always around us, but in its own way; no one will ever know the story of the tree that created and owned that little piece.
     
  4. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    Yes, it does belong there. I couldn't list all the kinds of totem and token people keep, but that's very much the kind of thing i meant. Some object that has a personal significance for you;
    it might be to affirm and bolster your identity
    represent some virtue or ideal to which you aspire
    remind you of being loved, valued, supported
    give hope and comfort
    contain a cherished experience or stage in your life....
    may have a spiritual component, though not necessarily supernatural.

    I'm interested in how people imbue non-living entities with personality - or, more accurately, how they invest some non-living vessel with a portion of their own personality. This is part of a larger inquiry into our relationship with the material world.
     
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  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    So here's the part that's gonna keep me up tonight - I'm in the middle of this conversation with a friend as we speak, right now. That's my high school class ring in the hand of a person with whom I attended the DLIFLC, mentioned above. How freaky is that? :wtf:

    IMG_2363.jpg
     
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  6. Bowie_the_Birb

    Bowie_the_Birb Member

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    I have a little onyx horse that was my elementary school friend (don't judge). There's also a surprisingly realistic-looking rattlesnake bracelet that's kind of a celebrity in my middle school for giving people heart attacks.
    And of course there's my friends in writing, my prized possession in my 7th grade year was a green composition book, where I wrote fanfictions in Runic. Lastly, I made a tiny polymer clay figure of a video game character who's the star of my instagram, and nothing can separate me from that tiny sculpture. Please don't judge. I value strange things.
     
  7. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    It shouldn't - unless in the happy revisiting of old times.
    Synchronicity rules!!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
  8. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    Nobody can judge anybody else's inanimate intimates! I mean, millions and millions of grownups would give their eyeteeth for a chance to kiss a ring not nearly as attractive as Wrybies', and millions more need to touch a little case holding a bit of parchment. Secular talismans are neither more absurd nor less meaningful for not being shared by multitudes or sanctified by an institution.
    (It sounds to me as if your intellectually formative years were rewarding. I would venture - on a very, very calm day - out on a limb and suggest that your writing is optimistic. Have you posted any?)
     
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  9. Bowie_the_Birb

    Bowie_the_Birb Member

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    I haven't thought of my writing that way... but I think you're right, now that I do think about it. Kind of strange given that my middle school years (i.e. right now) haven't been the best for me. But some of the best study halls I've had are where I'm writing, and that green journal helped me through some tough times.
    And yes I have posted some writing here. It's just called "Excerpt from my novel" but you might have to do some searching since it's kind of old
     
  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I'm usually nude and wear nothing but my wedding ring, which I never take off.
     
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  11. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    So it is - very old! What have you done with it since?
    Is that one of the perks of quarantine, or do you work at an exceptionally progressive firm? I'm imagining a sauna and vegetable-juice dispenser.
     
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  12. Bowie_the_Birb

    Bowie_the_Birb Member

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    Of course, I have done quite a bit of editing, but I have continued the story from that excerpt. With that entire story it's just bits and pieces that I hope to connect later... the "Excerpt from my novel" part is probably the longest segment of the story I've written!
     
  13. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Pimpin' ain't easy, but it sure is fun.... Contributor

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    I only take mine off to make meatballs. Last time I cooked naked I burned myself in numerous places.
     
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  14. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber Toast Muncher Contributor

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    Is that how you answer the door?
     
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  15. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    To JW's and political candidates, invariably!
     
  16. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    Well, get a move on! Post something so we can savage it.
     
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  17. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have a Vietnam War POW/MIA bracelet that I bought in boot camp. I had it in my pocket when we marched for graduation and put it on shortly after being dismissed. It's left my wrist for TSA inspections, and when I broke my arm I switched it to the other wrist, but it basically doesn't come off.

    I've been wearing it longer than most of my students, including those in the adult Business English courses, have been alive.

    The Marine it commemorates was lost two years before I was born. His remains were recovered in 2000, and I learned about the his repatriation maybe ten or twelve years ago. Tradition dictates that I send the bracelet to the family but I choose to continue wearing it for the ones who haven't made it back yet.
     
  18. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    There can't be very much family left to whom it means as much as it does to you. Perhaps you can satisfy both tradition and noble sentiment by dropping them a message to that effect?
     
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  19. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I have hated clothing since birth. I used to shuck my clothes as a toddler and run around nude while evading capture. Imagine wrapping yourself in some newspaper, wet or dry, just no. I rebuilt my entire house wearing nothing but safety boots - back deck, patio enclosure, kitchen, bathrooms, electrical, framing, drywall, paint, sawdust, concrete dust, dirt, debris. Through all of it, baby bare. I cook BBQ outside, no permanent damage so far.
    My nudificity is private only. No exhibitions or performances, thank you. I do not answer the door. I do not go out. I would happily walk the public lands and places of the earth nude without hesitation if it was a non-issue in society.
     
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  20. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    Devoutly to be wished! There is way too much mindfuckery centered on the human body. Geez, it's no better or worse than a crocodile's or toucan's, and we don't make them wear clothes!
     
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  21. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've written both my congressman back home and my local MP about getting some legislation done regarding that issue.
     
  22. Oxymaroon

    Oxymaroon Senior Member

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    Let us clarify.
    Do you wish to legislate for the acceptance of human nudity or the figleafing of crocodiles and toucans?
     
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  23. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Figleafing, naturally. The Comics Code had it right.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Xoic

    Xoic Active Member

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    I thought you were either joking about this or you had picked the idea up from reading Stranger in a Strange land for the book club. Heinlein and his wife were nudists (and swingers) and it's very prominent throughout the book.
     
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  25. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Benevolent Ochlocrat Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Alice Curry. I wonder what else History knows about her. Leslyn had emotional and addiction issues and Virginia turned into the staid Guardian of the Great Man's Legacy (see my other comment on Maugham's Cakes and Ale) but what ever became of Alice?
     

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