Fun with Symbols

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**Alternate title:  One of 10,000 random stories wandering around my limbic system.

In my neck of the woods, the Caduceus, pictured above, is associated with all things healing, health and medical.

Notice the two snakes intertwined around the Greek God Hermes’ magical winged staff.

Ah, but pretty much everywhere else in the world, the Rod or Staff of Asclepius represents the aforementioned concepts.

While  I refuse to engage in an exposé on the origins, confoundings and controversies surrounding these two symbols, I should, at least, acknowledge that the Staff of Asclepius depicts one snake on a rod–sans the wings.

Whew!

Yes, babylove Google is a helluva drug!

Get into it!

Anyway, for clarity’s sake, I ask that you forget everything I just told you about the Staff of Asclepius and focus your attention solely on the Caduceus.

Why?

Because, the Caduceus is the symbol I wanna talk about 😉

In fact, it is the symbol that I associate, not just with my pediatrician–Dr. Bennett, but also with cheeseburgers, Sears, and pecan caramel chocolate cluster candies–in that order 😉

What the hell?

Let me explain.

When I was a child, my pediatrician’s office was housed in a tall brick professional building that sported a large silver Caduceus on the side.

And, believe it or not, whenever I spotted that magical symbol, my senses would come alive!

Oh yes, it was, indeed, Pavlovian and you, I pray, are about to understand why.

Let me continue to explain.

You see, as soon as I saw the Caduceus from the parking lot– my memory would perk up and I could immediately ‘see,’ in my mind, my dear Dr. Bennett’s handsome smile.

I could ‘hear’ him say, “Hello Gwin, how are you?”

But, best of all, I could ‘smell’ then ‘taste’ the cheeseburgers that Mama and I would, no doubt, eat in a small diner located on the first floor of that building.

Let the mouth watering begin!

Oh, but the fun didn’t end there!

I thought about how immediately following our double date with the cheeseburgers, Mama and I would walk down the street to Sears to buy a bag of pecan caramel chocolate cluster candies– which we’d nibble all the way home.

Delicious!

Remember friends, I experienced all of this before we could step foot into the building for my appointment.

Oh, I can hear you guys asking, “Lady G, what the hell is the point to this story?”

To that I say, “I’m not sure…Do we need one?”

Maybe not.

But isn’t it interesting that a symbol that was meant to represent ideas of healing and medicine could be hijacked by the senses to represent things that are completely unintended like cheeseburgers and chocolate candy?

Our world is highly personalized, don’t you think?

And, on that note, Lady G never looks at a Caduceus without craving a damn good cheeseburger and some chocolates.

What say you about symbols- hijacked or otherwise?

Feel free to go a bit deeper.

Meet me in comments and let’s discuss 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

85 thoughts on “Fun with Symbols

  1. Lady G, this enchanted informed and delighted me in equal measures. Thank you! I was a little confused though that you did not see that a sign associated with healing and medicine wouldn’t apply to cheeseburgers and chocolate. Where have you been? Did you not get the memo about chocolate and cheeseburgers being an important source of vitamins and therefore constitute a vital part of one’s diet? Isn’t a function of medicine and healing to pay attention to one’s diet? I have to say, perhaps you need to re-think this post and update your readers with this break-through medicinal information. 🙂 Great post – love your writing style!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Marie 🙂
      LOL!!!
      It is truly a pleasure to finally meet the person behind that beautiful little girl in your gravatar 🙂
      I am so glad that you enjoyed this post. And, yes, I have come to my senses! You are correct! Cheeseburgers and chocolates are a MUST for any well balance diet! LOL!
      I really appreciate your generous compliments about this post.
      I hope you have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Lady G (loving the name. I feel I’m addressing Black nobility, which of course I am lol) . I’m very pleased to meet you too. I am no longer that beautiful little girl, but thank you for the compliment. 🙂 I’m a much bigger version! lol I have to say you’re quite a looker yourself. I’m glad that you’ve rectified this minor anomaly, which I’m sure was written on a day when you hadn’t had your correct dose of chocolate and cheeseburger. Please don’t let this happen again. You’ve been warned. lol. Have a super day and I’m sure we’ll be chatting again soon. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL!!!
          I’ve learned my lesson dear Madame and I will not make that mistake again 😂
          Nobility? LOL, only in the realm of this blog.
          In the real world, people tend not to recognize my ‘station’ when they see me fiddling around with cucumbers at the local market 😉
          Oh, by the way, If you were that beautiful as a child, then you must have grown into an equally beautiful woman. I have no doubt about that 🙂
          And yes, we will be chatting very soon-I’m sure 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Lady G, I am blushing (yes I know I’m black, lol), (doesn’t mean I can’t pull off a blush when the occasion arises)at these wonderful compliments. Fiddling with cucumbers huh? That’s not another one of your symbols is it? ha ha ha
          You have a great sense of humour and I love your blog – you write with such flair and confidence. And now I’m dropping a curtsey as I bid you farewell ’til next time your ladyship! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I’m a little in love with you Lady G! LOL Nobody has stroked my ego as much as you in the last few minutes. :))) You have a magnificent day too. Will you be taking tea and cucumber sandwiches in the drawing room later? Or will it be a burger and chocolate in the pantry with the servants? LOL

          Liked by 2 people

        4. LOL!!!! I love that!
          Baby you won me over with that picture awhile ago 🙂
          Methinks that I shall take a burger with the servants!
          I must show my appreciation for all of their hard work ! tehehehe! 😂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I had to think of this one for a bit, for there are days my brain chooses to screw with me just for the heck of it! 😁

    But as I pondered, one symbol came to mind, the ‘M’ in McDonald’s. Munchkin is almost 5 and learning to read. We’re very excited and so she’s pointing out letters and words EVERYWHERE as we make it into a fun game. Whenever she sees an ‘M’ in a font that resembles that of McDonald’s, she screams M for McDonald’s!!!

    See, symbols and branding play an important role in memory association and advertisers know this. I studied a bit of Graphic design too and there’s a science to everything we see in ads and commercials in general. The brain is an amazing yet very complexed tool and I’m always fascinated by its Inner workings.

    Love thought-provoking topics like these. Keep em coming. Those are some fun memories of you and mama. Great idea to get as many of them writ down so you never forget. Hugs ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks A! That’s a perfect example! I can’t help but smile at the thought of your little Munchkin pointing out McDonalds everywhere!
      Thanks for your kinds words too!
      Have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As an aside: In a sense, most of our “Long-term memory” or “Lifetime memory” is composed of autobiographical memory or “episodic and semantic” memory. The only “long-term” memories that are not “autobiographical” are our “Implicit” or “unconscious memories” these are procedural memories or “motor skills” that are learned, everything else is an “explicit” memory or “autobiographical”.

    Autobiographical memories are: events, experiences, facts, and concepts that occur or are encountered over a lifetime.

    Just some FYI

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah Prof, thank you for explaining this further. I find memory a fascinating thing and the fact that there are ways to change your memory – especially bad ones. I think that if Educators understood how memory works, there is so much more we could do with our brains. Most of us do not fire on all cylinders and consequently do not live up to our full potential.

      The brain is so elastic and amazing. Do you see how we learn from each other all the time.
      I don’t know about your schooling systems but I know that ours tend to tap into our working memories like adding up figures, repetition of facts (semantic) and procedural like rules for riding a bike or driving a car. There is so much more we could learn if we link new learning to our autobiographical and episodic memories – to what we already know.

      I once heard of a programme in South America where adult literacy was taught through people writing or reading stories about their day to day lives. Far more relevant than “jack kicked the ball”

      Now Lady G, do you see how elastic the brain is – your relating of a simple episode in your life can trigger so much more😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I believe the “Staff of Asclepius” has a Biblical cousin. I remembered a story in the Old Testament (Numbers 21:4-8).

    In the story the Israelites got grouchy cause Moses has led them into the desert. They were tired, hungry and thirsty. They began to bad-mouth Moses and God.

    God sent venomous serpents among them. The serpents bit a bunch of folks.

    They ran to Moses for forgiveness and asked him to pray for them and get rid of the snakes.

    Moses prayed for them and God told him, “Make an image snake out of copper, then place it on a pole/staff so that all who look at it will be healed.

    That’s what had happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love the nostalgia you sneak in through the back door. On the serious side I’m a firm believer in signs and symbols. The staff/rod is a symbol that has a special and significant meaning for me.

    But to pick up on the more lighthearted side of this discussion, I agree that it is amazing how the mind works and how our senses can trigger memories and associations that we didn’t even know we had. My children always complain that I take the garden route when I’m relating an event because along the way, other memories are triggered in relating the story.

    In your post the other day, you had a picture of those Italian soaps. I love those soaps. One of my favorites in those soaps smells like cloves and lavender and some other scent that reminds me of my late grandmother’s house on the farm where everything came from the farm. Then by association, I see my grandmother’s antique furniture, the pitcher and jug on the dresser, the milk in the jug covered by the doilies with beads to fend off flies, the cool red clay polished floors, the smokey would stove and ….and… You see my garden route? 😀 Funny thing is in later years when I travelled to other farms as an adult, I never quite found a farm like the childhood memory. So the other thing about symbols and memories is that they are idealised in a way that might not appear the same through the eyes of an adult.

    I love it when my children hear a song and say it reminds them of their childhood. That nostalgia is food for the soul. I love the way your mind wanders and wonders Lady G!😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chevvy you and I see things so similarly! I paid attention to the same kinds of things when I was a child. I guess I just looked at things a little bit harder than most.
      Sometimes I felt like I was trying to possess everything that I saw; almost like taking a picture with my mind so I could keep it for future reference.
      By the way, I love it when you take the ‘garden route’ –here we call it taking the ‘scenic route.’ I learn so much every time you decide to take the long way ’round.
      Honestly I feel as if I were at your dear Grandmother’s farm; right there with you all.
      I have a friend from Haiti who says that she loves the smell of toast and peppermint because it reminds her of her grandmother. In fact, she mentioned that the night her grandmother passed away, she all of a sudden got a whiff of toast and peppermint–it was a premonition.
      By the way, the peppermint smell came from the peppermint tea that her grandmother would drink along with her toast every morning for breakfast.
      I don’t know if RON will read this (I capitalized his name to get his attention) LOL! But I can remember the smell of freshly roasted Maxwell house coffee and cheese toast wafting around our grandmother’s house in the mornings.
      Anyway, I see you addressed my original point about symbols. I hope to learn more about what the Rod signifies for you–if you care to share on a different platform.
      But to your point; there can be a bit of idealism going on with symbols and memories; especially when you consider the original connotation from your youth versus the current connotations that your adult mind has espied! LOL!!!
      Thanks for such a thoughtful response Chevvy! I love the way you think too!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sounds about right- that we share similar ways of looking at things. I learnt recently that the way we remember things is not the same for everyone. I’d say that you and I and Ron too, have a tendency towards autobiographical memories.. The memories are associated with the stories of our lives. It’s a good thing to know even in determining how we learn new things.

        Yeah, I’ll tell you about the staff sometime but it relates to the story of Moses. Have a great day when you wake Honeychild!🌹

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Hey Love,
          Your friend Ron brought up that same story (of Moses).
          And yes, you are right, lean towards autobiographical memories-though I hadn’t really thought about it like that before 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  6. angsfamilysandwich

    It’s amazing how our brains work…associating symbols, smells, sounds to memories and responses.
    When I see the Wizard of Oz, regardless of the time of year, regardless of how much of the movie I see, I am transported back to being a child, in the kitchen, with my mother on the night before Thanksgiving. That’s when CBS played it back in the day. I hear the voice of a munchkin in the lollipop guild and I can smell the turkey and dressing!
    My memories of the visits to the doctor were not as pleasant, my friend! But I did visit that Sears that you speak of…and never new about those chocolates!
    I loved this. You bring us along to exactly where you are.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing my friend. What a vivid picture you’ve painted.
      BTW, at that Sears they had a candy counter in the middle of the store where they sold nuts and candies. Mama loved the peanut caramel clusters. She also liked the roasted cashews.
      I think they got rid of that counter in later years. Now that I think about it, I don’t remember seeing it in my teen years.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ellie!
      Wow! How cool it must have been to have studied in Greece. I can’t imagine how enriching that must have been for you.
      Thank you so much for reading my post and I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Yes, it is quite amazing how memory/nostalgia can color our interpretation of symbols 🙂
      I hope you’ll come back by sometimes.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi Susa!
          I know right?
          Those were the glory days!
          I guess that’s why I blog about them so much.
          I am in Act III of my life so I tell these stories before I forget them. I want my children to share them after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil!! LOL!!

          Like

  7. Tareau Barron

    So um, yeah, ugh, so will there be EGG NOG with those cheeseburgers? And also you said googling is a hell of a drug, but I don’t use Google. I still use Yahoo, or Ask Jeeves, Or Lycos. Hahaahahha Great post and I never knew that about Greek mythology. Excellent post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ROTFLMAO!!!
      I give up Tareau! You win!
      EGG NOG ROCKS!!!! It goes well with EVER-Y-THING!!
      And as for those browsers that you use…come to the light…come to the light! 😂
      Thanks for checking me out brah!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tareau Barron

        You see that. I had back up y’all. Ron and Dave were here. So yes. Or as you say Yaaaaaaassssss. Honestly Greek and Norse mythology fascinates me alot.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Symbols are wonderful! That’s why emojis work so well. Like this one I sent to my director when she asked me how the training was going 😳🔫 or the one I send to the people I love 😘❤️ Or my hubby 😍😍😍 anywho I agree with everyone else that’s it’s funny how our brains can begin to associate events with symbols. Loved this Gwin! Now I gotta 🏃🏽‍♀️ and get a 🍔

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I free-associate things like that with my memories all the time. It’s a wonderful thing. Sometimes it is triggered by a song, a smell, a taste. You had a great memory of your childhood doctor, that takes priority over getting sick, inoculations, pills, pain, etc. Well done. 💘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Van!
      And yes, songs, smells and taste are strong memory triggers 🙂
      I sometimes think that my Mama intentionally paired that appointment with good things like cheeseburgers 🙂
      so I would look forward to going to the doctor. It worked!
      Thanks for coming by my friend. 💞

      Liked by 3 people

  10. It’s funny how the memory works Cuz. I theorize that, we never truly forget anything sans brain damage, either traumatic or medical causes.

    All that’s lacking, in the process of recalling a memory, is something to stimulate it–a spark.

    If a memory is never “sparked”, it remains dormant in our brains.

    You and I have discussed your ability to recall moments in history by associating them with certain songs.

    Anyway, about that Caduceus and that Staff of Asclepius, I do believe that EMS is one of the only medical fields to get it right.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Maybe I should have done a post on the Staff of Asclepius! LOL!!!
      But then that wouldn’t have been authentic to my memories!
      I’ll never forget those two snakes and the wings. I remember wondering how they got those two snakes to cooperate! LOL!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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