Friday, June 4, 2010

Pondering the Skull

Friday, June 4Th, 7:17 P.M.
Mood: Much Better, Contemplative
Music: Beautiful Day, by U2

The ancients often contemplated the skull and all of it's meanings. As early as the fourteenth century we see examples of monks collecting skulls and, believing them to be the home of the soul, collected hundreds of them and built them into walls, chandeliers, and even furniture.

The skull is a really fascinating thing to me, as it holds so much significance for so many cultures. It carries not only symbols of death for some cultures, but symbols of victory, rebirth, or the ascension into the afterlife.

The skull is a symbol of death, and as prince hamlet so eloquently put it, "Poor Yorik, alas, I knew him well." But why has it become associated with death? Perhaps it is the first thing that we, as humans see in a skeleton of a poor dead soul. Perhaps we are looking for a face, and seeing the cold dead eye sockets of a skull are put off by their cold and unemotional gaze. Perhaps.

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