the age of symbolism

I came across this quote  the other day:

I hate symbolism…I’m against symbolism…I feel like symbolism comes out of English-class thinking that has no place in our entertainment. Ira Glass

It could have been stated by Mr. Q [and may very well have been, I will admit to tuning out on occassion…]. In the context of authors commenting on their work, I can understand some of the subsequent remarks regarding writing without giving conscious thought to any emerging symbolism. But, as a general sentiment, I find it an odd stance. Symbolism, in some form or another, is everywhere. It’s how we think: pairing complicated or convoluted things up with simpler images or concepts for easier retrieval. Realising parallels. Forcing or provoking parallels. Even evolving parallels.

One of Mr.Q’s primary, gut-reactions to my tattoos is always consternation. He just doesn’t get it. I’m not sure if it’s the tattooing process and permanence, or the idea of the image – whatever particular image it may be – that actually confounds him. But he emphatically states that he is not comfortable with The Symbolism of it all.

[that he deals with abstract calculations and intangible computer code on a daily basis doesn’t phase him, but I struggle with the distinction between math or computer languages and use of imagery or drawing parallels to life from fiction]

So, when the Magpie began declaring that her stock phrase for her bedtime routine was not to be taken literally – that is was just her symbol  [emphasis hers] for a bedtime routine and actual content may vary – I swear I could hear Mr.Q’s forehead vein throbbing from down the stairs and across the room. She has since started using more codes or shorthand symbols – including humming a descending chord at dessert time. She’s drawing her own parallels and making her own connections. She’s developing her own symbols.

I have no idea if this is something that fits into the gross generalizations of kids’ development stages or if it has girls vs. boys boundaries drawn. From my early pregnancy, I avoided charts and percentiles; why start now? But I am curious to see how this manifests in grade 1. Will she put symbols in her writing? Will she start to analyse her books and plays?

Will Mr.Q come along for the ride?

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