Friday, December 4, 2015

TGIF 12-4-15 The Meaning

If you’ve been paying attention - and of course you have - then you know that this past Monday was my birthday, and that I celebrated that birthday with a new tattoo. You also know that the new tattoo was the site logo for Frequently Interrupted. What you might not know, and what several people have asked me about now, is what it means. Today we’ll take a few minutes to answer that question.

The original idea was generated by reading about Project Semicolon. With my history, I was instantly intrigued by this idea of using the semicolon as a reminder that life keeps going. Pause, but don’t stop. I knew that I wanted to follow that idea, but I also knew that it had to be more than that. While I like things to be simple, I also like things to be artistic, and I also like things to be mine. I wanted something that could tap into the Project Semicolon symbolism, but I also wanted something that could express my uniquely artistic view of the world.

All of this consideration was taking place at the same time that I was beginning to put together what would become Frequently Interrupted. At some point in the early stages of design, I made two critical decisions: the end result would be the logo for the new website, and it would also be my next tattoo. With that in mind, I started talking to some artistic people I know (I may have an artistic mind, but I can’t draw convincing stick figures), and expanding on my original idea.

I had already put together the basic site brand that appears on many of my posts and images, and knew that I wanted to continue using the enso that was central to that brand. The Japanese enso is a Zen design of a circle made with one or two quick brush strokes. It can be an open or closed circle, but I prefer the open circle, as that adds an imperfection element to the basic idea, which is about being open to creation, minimalism, inner strength, and, ultimately, enlightenment. It has many subtleties of meaning, depending on who you ask, but it can be summed up in my mind as the enlightenment of recognizing the perfection of imperfection. It represents the idea that nothing is complete, and it is perfectly beautiful as it is.

I wanted to somehow combine the enso with the semicolon, and we hit upon the realization that two semicolons, inverted to each other, have a striking resemblance to the Yin and Yang symbol. Duality. Light and darkness together make up the whole.

I had what I wanted, or, at least I had the pieces of what I wanted. My own initial designs were as amateurish as might be expected, but I tossed them out to people who know better, and what came back was beautiful.

Long story short, it is a reminder that life is beautiful and worth it, not in spite of, but because of all of it’s mixed up imperfection. Life keeps moving. Pause when you need to, take a breath, and keep going. Everything is Zen.

Namaste.

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