Thursday, May 21, 2009

Simply a Sign

What's a sign and what's a symbol? For Jung, a symbol was quite specific. For something to be a symbol, it has to possess some ineffable quality - the Cross would be a good example. Otherwise it's a simple sign or a badge. But is this arrow a symbol? Well an arrow is a very old symbol, but only when it's an actual arrow, rather than a pointer - as above. When an arrow is a pointer, it's simply that. But this arrow was so big I couldn't help getting a photograph. Definitely some sense of direction and movement here in Baggot Street, Dublin 4. But it is simply a sign and not a tool or a weapon. Yet it does look as if it would be a good idea to keep to the right in this case! European folklore depends on the Latin name for an arrow sagitta, deriving from the same root as sagira, which means "to perceive keenly or swiftly" - so mental alertness is the name of the game with the arrow. In that part of Baggot Street you had better be alert. Anything can happen on that strip. As you can see.