Overheard on . . . Bloomberg West
“A seagull and a crow attacked two doves at the Vatican as they were released from a window by two children and the Pope.”
The symbolism of doves has a long history associated with fertility, feminism, love and peace. As far back as the iron age in Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean the dove can be found as a symbol for the mother goddess. There is even evidence that suggests ancient Israelites believed the Canaanite goddess, Asherah (symbolized as a dove) was consort to Yahweh. As described by Dorothy Willette writing for the Biblical Archeology Society: The Enduring Symbolism of Doves; From ancient icon to biblical mainstay – “… it is not so surprising, then, that the heirs of this Israelite religion incorporated the “feminine” symbol of the dove to represent the spirit of God (the word for “spirit,” ruach, is a feminine word in Hebrew).”
So the fact that a crow, which often symbolizes death or acts as an omen of something bad occurring, attacked a dove at the Vatican acts as an almost archetypal representation of the battle between good and evil, life and death, peace and war.
As with any symbol, our own psyche can add layers of meanings to that which might only be a normal aspect of nature (predators going after prey, the cycle of life). Still, for me at least, it connected on such a personal, deep level to events going on in my own life that it was impossible to ignore. Like the traffic ticket I received last fall, I wondered what this was trying to tell me about my life.
I have found truth and consolation in the quote from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” And I have discovered yet again that this year is meant to test my own intentionality. What sort of person do I want to be? How will I respond when facing feelings of hurt and anger?
My conclusion has been this- that there is one prescription for powerlessness, staying true to who I am no matter what comes at me. In this way, as a dove confronting a crow becomes the very best representation of peace and love, so my values, tested under extreme situations, show the world exactly who I am.
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Overheard at... Home
The croaking of our resident frog.
Unlike the squirrels who continue to torment me, the frog that lives in the backyard feels like a personal friend. For one thing, his calling does not seem to aggravate our dog. But for another, it may be the time of day he signs his song. I drift off to sleep with his croaking and wake in the morning to it as well. No one else in my family even seems to notice. So, in a way, it feels like his song is just for me.
In reality, that is sort of gross though. Because I am pretty sure I read somewhere that frogs sing when they are trying to mate. Ewwww! I write sweet romance, not reptilian erotica. Although this week The Colbert Report spotlighted an author who writes dinosaur erotica so I guess it exists somewhere. There is something for everyone.
Can’t we just be friends? I like to think so. I’ve never bought into the whole Harry/Sally thing that men and women can’t be friends. I like to think anyone can be friends- even frogs and people. Among other definitions Webster says a friend is: One attached to another by affection or esteem; A favored companion. Under these definitions my dog, Summer, would certainly be included as one of my closest friends.
Wikipedia goes much farther: Although there are many forms of friendship, some of which may vary from place to place, certain characteristics are present in many types of friendship. Such characteristics include affection, sympathy, empathy, honesty, altruism, mutual understanding and compassion, enjoyment of each other's company, trust, and the ability to be oneself, express one's feelings, and make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend. (Link here for full discussion.)
I have to (mis)quote Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice here, “I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished -friends- (women). I rather wonder now at your knowing any.”
Under this accounting I would have to say my only friends would be my dog and, of course, my husband. To degrees we may find all of the above in our closest friends. But it seems like a very long list to find in any one person… though perhaps not a frog.
What are your thoughts on friendship? Do you count animals as friends? I love to hear your thoughts and to prove it
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