Writing Prompt: Symbols (and meanings)

I was glancing around the office today looking around for inspiration and I noticed a few things.  There are a lot of symbols kicking around. One of the girls in the office wore a garnet-encrusted cross around her neck. One of the guys has a tattoo with some tribal symbols, though I’m not sure from which country they originate (I’m quite certain he’s a local boy), another fellow in the office wears a simple chain with a small bronze skull hanging from it. For my part, I have a Fleur de Lis tattoo.

Symbols can have multiple meanings depending on context and the interpretation of the individual. For my part, I like crosses, though I am not religious. I think they’re pretty and can be decorative. In terms of their Christian significance, I couldn’t care less. The tribal art, unless you can interpret them or you go right up to the person and ask what they mean, the outsider will not know why he chose to mark them permanently on his arm. The skull, I shudder to think. I’m assuming he finds them fashionable in the same way I find crosses. As for my Fleur de Lis tattoo, I got that to commemorate my university graduation. The “Fluer de Lis” was the name of the coffee bar I used to hang out at when I was deciding to major in creative writing and I was filling my days and journals with self-important dross. (not much changed there, then)

It’s interesting when you step back and try to understand symbols, their history and how they have evolved. For instance, the Fleur de Lis originated as a symbol most widely associated with the French monarchy.

According to Wikipedia: It has represented The fleur-de-lis or fleur-de-lys (plural: fleurs-de-lis)[pron 1] is a stylized lily (in French, fleur means flower, and lis means lily) or iris that is used as a decorative design or symbol. It may be “at one and the same time, religious, political, dynastic, artistic, emblematic, and symbolic”, especially in French heraldry.

To me, it’s a reminder of interesting times, when I was trying to figure things out and symbolic of my first step into being a grown up.

For this prompt, pick a symbol, find out about its history and then write a narrative in which the symbol is the main feature/theme of the story.



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