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Icons, explained

[personal profile] rydra_wong asked me about these icons:


A small and large capybara strolling, captioned 'Freedom's just another WORD'

The decision process behind choosing the capybara as the mascot for the complex network of interrelations between liberty, that state of desperation when one realizes that one really doesn't have anywhere to go but up (but only if one claws and fights and yells in order to get there), activism, and ill-advised pasting of Janis Joplin lyrics onto CC-licensed images, is one that is best not examined at hours that aren't 3am, but I assure you, it made *perfect sense at the time*. This icon represents the struggle for one's liberties, rock bottom and nowhere else to go, and drunken decisions made on the internet at well past one's bedtime.


A teapot, cast out of chocolate, already starting to melt at the bottom, on a table set for tea.

The phrase "As useful as a chocolate teapot" delighted me. This icon is equally well-suited for tea parties and rants about software.


A polished piece of striped fluorite, purple, green, and clear, on a neutral background.

Like many small children, I had been given a stuffed sheep shortly after I was born. Concerned that if something happened to the sheep, I'd be completely inconsolable, my parents attempted to dilute my attention by introducing a stuffed cat, which I immediately clung to twice as hard. When I was 11, my bedtime preparations included sleeping with one baby blanket worn like a scarf over my head, one on top of my other blankets, holding my cat tightly. Within the next year or so, I had acquired a boyfriend. He gave me a cute little piece of carved soapstone. It fit nicely in my hand, so I added it to my nighttime-keep-the-evil-away setup.

When I went off to sleepaway camp, the cat and blankets stayed home, but the soapstone bear came with me. I wound up getting a pretty little piece of rose quartz between the sessions of camp. It was nice and felt friendly. Since the bear was a bit fragile, the rose quartz was the newest symbol of safety while sleeping. I tragically lost it the following Thanksgiving, and had to replace it with another, lesser, piece of rose quartz. Since then, I've been holding various rocks in my hands when I sleep off and on. They're collectively known as my "huggy rocks", and are picked for appearance, shape to fit in my hand, and friendly feel. This is not actually one of my rocks, but the appearance is not dissimilar. I like fluorite.


Silhouette of a raven and a depiction of a golden apple with the Greek word 'Kallisti' written on it, captioned 'Shiny' in flowing golden script.

I had a hilarious conversation a while ago. A youngish friend was relaying some of the history of one of their other friends, an older man. He mentioned that the fellow's affiliations included Raven.
"Ah," I said. "Would you tell him, 'Hello, cousin,' for me?"
The message was relayed, though my friend was deeply confused.
"I was born in Alaska," I explained.
This was also relayed, and the fellow and I shared a moment of understanding. My friend was, however, out of the loop.

Sometimes, when a young Lunatic is born in Alaska, Grandfather Raven claims her as one of his many own. Sometimes, when a young Lunatic is coming into adulthood, Eris smiles and says hello.


A profile portrait of a serious-looking White Leghorn hen with a relaxed neck; she has several layers of wire cage behind her.

So in December '09, along with all of the other things that were going on then, my aunt asked if I wanted to come to a clicker-training workshop with her. She didn't want to go alone, and the practical bits of the course were to be on chickens. I agreed to come along. I had a lovely time, bar all the other stress I was under, and had great fun with the chickens. They had White Leghorns, Brown Leghorns, and a few very beautiful, very soft, very talkative, very pecky Black Star hens. This was the first hen I got to use in the training. She was soft and somewhat tentative, but got more confident after she figured out what I was asking her to do. The White Leghorns were all rescues; they were retired laying hens who would have otherwise been in deep trouble. I dubbed her Miss Puffy ButtMeringue FancyPants, "Butt Meringue" for short, the entirely possibly urban legend being fresh, if that's the word, in my mind. (Chickens have a feathered rump; on white chickens, it does look rather meringue-ish.) Not quite the sweetest hen ever, but close.


If you'd like me to look at your icons and pick ~5 that I'd like you to talk about, please include the word 'sigilism' in your comment.

Crossposted. comment count unavailable comments.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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