Friday, June 5, 2009

The Symbol


(by R.P. Edwards)

Symbols without meaning
Are like words…without the truth
Like a ring…without fidelity
And a child…without youth
They then become of evil
The manipulator’s tool
To reach a vile ending
Each stepping stone…a fool

The middle-aged veteran stood at attention. Before him…fluttering in the fragrant spring breeze and bathed in the warming rays of an overhead sun…the symbol. All around the slightly overweight “old man,” children laughed and played--dashing out into the street at irregular intervals to gather trinkets and treats thrown at them by the parade participants--and joyously oblivious to the silent, solemn man, who had just the beginnings of a tear welling in his eye. This gentleman, a plumber by trade, on any other day he might smile, or jest, or offer a wave of greeting but…with the viewing of the symbol…with a viewing of the “life”…a rushing cascade of memories and emotions, images and imaginings--all these enhanced by the maturing appreciation of worth, well, there would be no distraction, no loss of focus, no division of devotion and, as finally a gentle drop escaped the rim, ran down the age-born channels of his face, leapt from his chin and fell towards the pavement below, before it reached the lifeless stone…it softly alighted on the silky-soft hand of a child who had awkwardly reached for a piece of bubblegum that had nestled next to the man’s worn, black, left shoe. She, an auburn-haired waif of barely four, paused, curiously looked up to the sky and then, seeing no moisture laden clouds, she lowered her gaze until she saw, at last, the glistening eyes of the man. And, turning slowing to follow his gaze…she saw, approaching from afar--like the marching of the stars across a night of blue…the flag. And, looking again at the elder, she slowly arose (for a moment grasping his hand for balance) and then, standing alongside this “stranger” she put her eyes upon the symbol…and then purposely placed her delicate right hand…over her heart.

There was a time when symbols meant something. There was a time when the outward “show” reflected an inner iron. There was a time when truth was absolute…and clever chicanery was reserved for scoundrels and thieves. But now, in our redefined age of enlightenment; in our time when actors are acclaimed and the media-mouths…exalted, our symbols, like these…have become tainted, twisted, defiled. And so, what once had meaning, is now just a means to an end. Whether it be the Christ, or the Flag, or the Constitution, or the sacred covenants once thought immovable…these are grievously used to the sickening advantage of those who know precious little of honor, or virtue…or truth. And so, in this time of phoniness and Pharisees, are there none who will stand? Are there none who will acknowledge and bow before the Creator? Are there none who will reverently fold the flag and acknowledge that it’s sacred essence is born of Patriot’s blood? Are there none who would shout down the self-proclaimers and remind them, and all, that our inherited blessings come not from the children…but rather from the fathers? If there are any. If there are…any. Then perhaps the symbols…and the nation…can be restored.

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