Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Thing About Symbols

I like Christmas. The fire crackling in the hearth, the stockings stuffed to the brim with candy and gifts. The tree standing there, ornaments glittering in the light. It is regal and grand, a symbol of the season. It is proud, and it fills me with a sense of belonging, of hope.

That is, until I get to the top. The angel on high, looking down on me from her kingdom in heaven. They tell me I am loved, and that she serves as a reminder. I can tell none of them ever paid attention in English class. Show, don’t tell. If I am valued, it is not enough to say it. Be there for me in times of crisis, let me know it will be okay. Only then will I feel as though I matter.

The illusion is further shattered when I look back at history. Throughout time, the angel has been used to torture and oppress in the name of freedom. It has been forged into a weapon, a tool of dehumanization. How can it make me feel loved if it forces me to change who I am?

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