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What is symbolically - metaphorically meaningful to you?

@SteveB recently made a post asking: are we all diamonds in the rough ready to be polished? "Do you do things that allow you to be the best you can be?"

I was inspired to make this post.

Diamonds are my favorite gemstone. They are the hardest known natural material on both the Vickers scale and the Mohs scale, contributing to their stability as a gem.

They are meaningful to me --- not in a De Beers, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” hyper-marketed BS sort of way, but symbolically–-metaphorically.

Steve's post reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

"Diamonds are held under tons and tons of pressure, extremely high temperatures of fire and shuffled under shifting of tectonic plates, for a long, long time! Yet when they come out from there and are put on display for their beauty; does anybody stop to evaluate the diamond based upon all the shit it’s been through and say “Remember that disgusting hole it used to be in? I bet it was hell in there!”

No, people don’t remember where a diamond has come from; they just see the beauty of it now. But it wouldn’t have become so beautiful, you know, if not for all of that!"

~ C. JoyBell C.

VictoriaNotes 9 Feb 23

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What a great question. I've always had a fascination/felt a connection to thunderstorms. The lightning, wind, hail, not to mention the odd tornado. Watching them roll in and witnessing the destructive power was always a powerful reminder of my place in the universe i.e. it has zero fucks to give. One memory in particular boiled this down for me. In my late teens, I was riding my 10-speed and I could see the thunderhead boiling up to the Northeast. I hauled ass to the edge of town which happened to be at the local cemetery. I remember getting chills watching it form and seeing the lightning thread through the clouds. Granted, I was high at the time but still, it was humbling and empowering all at once. Regardless of your race or socioeconomic background or religion, the weather can fuck you up. The first time I encountered the following quote by Hitchens, I thought of that storm. We're all mammals after all.

“Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”

Fearlessfreep, I can appreciate what you're saying. I live on the gulf coast, a couple of block from the beach, and during the summer we get pop-up thunderstorms nearly every day with wicked lightning. At night, streaks of heat lightning light up the sky offshore. Nature put on a spectacular show. I have a great respect for lightning. Your comment and Hitch's quote were perfect together.

My mother was a strange duck she was bi-polar but mainly manic , and used to call us to come quickly if there was a thunderstorm and would get very high on it, almost as if she were conducting the whole thing - bringing in the bass rumblings, pointing with outflung finger at the lightening , and staying to the end of her set to the very last pitter- patter bowing at the last disappeairng rumbles of the bass reluctantly leaving her stage.


Mother nature and all she has to offer. She is a capricious lady ,and she seems to use the state of Oklahoma as a punching bag. That said,she is a fascinating lady. I plan to chase her whirlwinds this spring.

"I plan to chase her whirlwinds this spring."

How exciting. I'm a bit of a weather junkie. Tornados fascinate me. I'd be the one taking video at the very last minute (seconds?) before taking cover. I've also been in several hurricanes, including the eye. I'm glad they started naming storms after men, too. They deserve some credit, as well. 😀


Personally speaking...
It would be the many gray hairs that streak my dark mane.
Every time I look into a mirror, I see them staring back at me. And each time, it reminds that although I didn't have the greatest of lives.
I lived. And I still am living.
I regard each gray as a badge of honor. A reminder of the hell I've walked through and overcame. And for that reason. I will never hide them away.

This is very moving and eloquently stated. Thank you for sharing.


Sadly this is one of the things my poor old brain does not comprehend.
I have physical scars that serve to remind me where my emotional ones came from, just as physical scars have altered sensitivity, so do I.

Thank you for sharing so personally and poetically.

oops, I just meant that I don't understand symbol or metaphors well. But thank you


My dog is a warm, fuzzy, loving, vulnerable, ever cute and cuddly creature, sometimes independent, mostly dependent, willful, undisciplined but somehow always forgiven when she needs love symbolizing what human companionship should be though there be those that believe dogs lack humanity, emotion, feelings yet are more human than humans deserve or realize.

SamL Level 7 Feb 23, 2018

You both are fortunate to have each other.


The praying mantis for being stealthy and deadly a graceful creature. The essence of survival. The scorpion certain types can kill an animal 100,000 times it's size with just a pin head full of poision. Symbolizes how unbalanced nature can be. I chose creatures because we as people could learn a lot more about our own life struggles.,if we understood nature beter. So my choice is not a material thing but a observing thought.

Your comment (observing thought) reminded me of something Neil deGrasse Tyson said in his talk "Stupid Design".

Most places in the universe will kill life instantly—instantly! People say “Oh, the forces of nature are just right for life.” Excuse me. Just look at the volume of the universe where you can’t live. You will die instantly. That is not what I call the Garden of Eden, alright. … We’re on a collision course with the Andromeda galaxy—gone is this beautiful spiral that we have. And of course, we’re on a one-way, expanding universe as we wind down to oblivion, as the temperature of the universe approaches absolute zero.

And so, if I came upon a frozen waterfall, and it just struck me for all its beauty, I would then turn over the rock and try to find a millipede, or some kind of deadly newt, and put that in context, and realize, of course, the universe is not here for us."

@VictoriaNotes My thoughts are profound I value the memories in my head to be worth more than material objects. Things can be replaced the construct of an idea can only be elaborated on. Example today we had a long day in the car my kids and I. My kids were bantering back and forth about a something. It sounded to me like my daughter said to my son "you have a peacock in your pants". I said to my son how did you get a peacock in your pants well this was just hilarious to the kids. We got to walmart and happened to run across some kids around the same age as mine, I said to the little boy do you have a peacock in your pocket. Cracked my kids up. That to me is worth more than any material object will ever bring.


I used to get drunk on metaphor and symbolism as if they were wine.

I've sobered up.

Moderation works for me.

There are far too many literal minded fuckers out there; both believers and non believers. Can we just on occasion double down on some fucking nuanced thought? Drink up I say! Moderation, sure, but once in a while chug from the chalice of life and vomit into the abyss.

@FearlessFreep & @VictoriaNotes: I used to be a full-on astrological chart-casting, tarot-reading, rock-collecting woo-head. Metaphysical leanings drove part of that propensity; a mystical fascination with and reverence for symbol drove the other part. Since I've dropped the woo I still love symbolism; I'm just not feverish with it anymore. I'm a lifelong poet and artist so metaphor is in my blood--ill never be cured of it, nor would I wish to be. Allegory is a favorite hobby of mine (as many of my comments here will attest). Nuanced thinking makes my heart go pitter-pat. But I'm glad I'm not sick with obsession over symbolism anymore. I was thoroughly, utterly besotted. Now I'm just a bit of a lush.

@stinkeye_a Very interesting. I appreciate your clarification. This may help explain, at least in part, a couple of comments here where people seemed perplexed at the question and comments and perhaps took things a bit too literal.

@VictoriaNotes I suspect different neurotypes may have different relationships with metaphor as a baseline capacity. Hard to say how much owed to nature or nurture, but in any case difficult or impossible to deliberately alter. In other words, being a native French speaker isn't necessarily an indication of an insensitivity to Mandarin. It may be one of the language capacities: Literalese, Metaphorese, etc. Some bilingual, some not. Just conjecture on my part??

@skado I suspect you're right, Scotty. Thank you for sharing your insight.


I love rocks.
My kids have always collected them. They were their first, sweet gifts to me.

My partner collects them for me from various places on his trips.

I remarkably remember each one's story.

I also have a lot of pyrite. My youngest used to think it was treasure. It's bittersweet now, as she doesn't seem to notice the glimmers any more.

I keep it all in my box of special rocks.

That is so cool. I have a small rock collection, myself. I used to spend hours at the Mineral & Lapidary Museum in Henderson, NC and made many return visits.

@VictoriaNotes That sounds so wonderful!
I would love to visit. I am enamored with geology.

@Donotbelieve Here's the next best thing. Enjoy. 🙂

@VictoriaNotes thank you!

@Donotbelieve 🙂


lol.....i love that!

Is your Mama's new diamond ring as scintillating as her son?

@VictoriaNotes i think the ring has me beat...i am kinda dull! you are one intelligent lady victoria!

@twshield You are so thoughtful, Tim, thank you. I respectfully disagree with your being kinda dull. Your multiple facets cast brilliance and fire. 🙂

@VictoriaNotes awww thank you so much! i think i enjoy getting inside peoples minds far too much


Lotuses, because they thrive in mud and must push through it in order to grow. The beautiful ones that reach the water's surface have had to move through a lot of muck.

There are also two gemstones I connect with. One is Labradorite, a dull green color until light hits it -- and then it lights up vibrantly. The other is Hematite, which I used to think was metal until I found out it was a stone, and I always found it grounding to just hold a piece in my hand, also even before finding out what it was.


Nature in general and particularly mountains..


Off teh top of my head - babies - any baby at all - thinking of their journey ahead and wondering if it will be a mostly pleasant one.


Great question, something to ponder on my road trip today! Interesting that without all that pressure, the stable phase of carbon is graphite. Completely different stuff.

I think it's fun to ponder. Enjoy your road trip.


Wow, several levels for me on this one. First, the main "things" I find meaningful are because of their connection to a person, usually a loved person.

Then I feel a relationship toward certain animal types, almost a totem concept, for I admire the traits, insofar as I know them. Perhaps similar to how you feel about diamonds. ( I personally don't care for the history of them, but that's a different thread)

"I personally don't care for the history of them, but that's a different thread"



Flight. Flying. Floating. If reincarnation is true, I was either a bird, or will be one.

I had a dream as a young child that I was riding on the back of a giant feathered bird; it left an indelible mark on my psyche. I don't know what archetype it relates to, but it sure is deep in my reptilian brain. Every time I watch a video I've shot with my drone, time stands still for me.

Wow, Jim, that was excellent. Very calming. Superb editing and accompanying music. I don't dream of flying as much as I did when I was a child, but it seemed I dreamed of flying nearly every night. I was heavily influenced by Peter Pan, and it seemed as though I was having lucid dreams because I was aware that I was dreaming and knew that if I thought of something happy, I would immediately lift off the ground and fly --- and I always did. It was incredibly euphoric.


Stars that are there even when you can’t see them - day or night above a cloudy sky, smiling and laughing so hard your face hurts, eyes in the back of your head, an ear, a heart, a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, a hug, a kiss, a feeling that you miss. A best friend.

jeffy Level 7 Feb 24, 2018

Jeff, that is quite pensive, sublime and beautiful. As I read your poetic comment one of my favorite songs immediately came to mind.

Sweet disposition
Never too soon
Oh, reckless abandon
Like no one's watching you
A moment a love
A dream aloud
A kiss a cry
Our rights
Our wrongs
So stay there
'Cause I'll be coming over

Will a virtual smile and hug do for now? 🙂

@VictoriaNotes new to this music - thanks for introducing me to it!!

@VictoriaNotes Ditto. Very nice!

@silverotter11 @jeffy

My pleasure. Thank you for listening.


Eternity. I am less than nothing compared to the infinity of time. Still, here I be.

Infinity and eternity are fascinating things to ponder.


The way nature works


The Satan and Judas stories. I often feel vilified for speaking the truth.

Oh, very interesting. It is rather obvious that Yahweh used Satan as a scapegoat for his own psychopathic behavior.


I don't think we know anything of itself. All our knowledge is relational. This is like that, which is like that and different from this. Metaphor is indispensible to our creation of meaning as well as a colorful means of description. But yes, It can get a bit silly.


A sailing vessel, and its parts. The sails, with their positive capacity to move the boat forward, and their negative capacity to knock the boat over (politically liberal connotations). The ballast keel, with its positive capacity to keep the boat upright and on track, and its negative capacity to sink the boat (politically conservative connotations). The rudder’s representation of choice, or self determination. The anchor that keeps the boat from being swept away by its other natural proclivities. How the tensions between these various components ultimately work together to make the craft useful instead of only beautiful and terrifying, etc.

One of my favorite little books, “The Tao of Sailing” by Ray Grigg, is full of insightful sailing metaphors. Of late I am becoming aware of more and more useful metaphors in other religious mythologies, and how important it is to not interpret them literally.

skado Level 8 Feb 24, 2018

This was fabulous and with the added spice of PCC.

"Of late I am becoming aware of more and more useful metaphors in other religious mythologies, and how important it is to not interpret them literally."

Indeed. Joseph Campbell understood this. Too bad Billy Graham never did.


From my slightly mystical side, I will be sure I tell you I have a passion for them too. Gemstones are said to be related to different planets. Gemstones are said to vibrate at a frequency of the planet they are attracted to. That is why the birthstone deal started. I have a book on crystals and their meanings. Crystals also have different meanings. For instance Rose quartz is great for self-esteem and self love. At one time I use to carry a pocket of rose quartz . Strangers would start to talk to me about all their problems. I would give them a rose quartz. People who are ill I, in some way usually seek me out. Gemstones are great to become knowledgeable about. They have healing powers.Besides, if nothing else, they are interesting if you believe or disbelieve. I love them. I just love them for their glorious beauty and the lore they carry.The have been considered to have properties since way way back in hstory


A material item? Dumbells, barbells, lifting machines, weight benches. Otherwise anything that 'symbolically' gives me a good laugh or a good cry.


Peace on earth


My life... the beauty in my life... the close relationships in my life. The life of my children. They will always be my children. I write things and never memorize them. On time of big trouble... I go back to read things I did... I am surprised by my sensitivity, how and what lead me to write what I wrote... Suddenly my troubles are not that big. I had rescued me myself into a better future with a visit from my past. I don't believe in time travel yet... It is what I do on my time of big trouble and what rescues me. My humble take.

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