We Cairn a Lot

Ask and ye shall receive, my peeps! In a comment to my query about personal anchors yesterday, Goodwithcheese linked to the jewelry of Tarma, and now I’m infatuated with the symbolism of cairns and must have either a wristband or a pendant to help keep me balanced during the holiday season.

Cairns are piles of stones. But wait, there’s more! Although they sometimes mark burial spots, they also can act as trail guides to wanderers in the mountains. As each person passes along the trail, they add another stone—keeping up with cairn maintenance, so to speak. In addition to reminding us of the path we’re on, the imagery of the cairn conjures up the ideal of balance, stones stacked carefully one atop the other. Balance, following your path, building upon the lessons of others: a cairn represents all of these goals.

I identify strongly with fellow dieters, but I am also very much drawn to those who seem to have achieved or are consistently making a point of maintaining some kind of balance in their personal wellness. Sometimes I experience the petty emotion of jealousy, especially when the person is younger than me and already seems to have things “figured out.” At other times I am filled with an indescribable contentment and hope reading their words. I am sustained by vicariously cooking wholesome, varied meals in their kitchens and by reading about what it’s like to grow and change in healthy ways. I dream of traveling back in time and doing certain things differently, giving the younger me certain priorities that just weren’t there at the time. I feel like I have always been scrapping for emotional (and sometimes physical) survival and never dared hope for what I can only describe as something better. Something more for myself.

Balance is a beautiful, precarious thing that is well worth experimenting with, one stacked stone at a time.

Cairn pendant by Tarma

Cairn pendant by Tarma

Now, because you’ve read all of these very deep thoughts, you can have some Faith No More:


6 Responses

  1. Love the imagery! Then I laughed out loud at the video. Funny segue. Seems like a great anchor.

  2. I like the idea of that as an anchor! I still haven’t fully figured out mine yet, and I’ve been on WW for almost a year!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS – I’m totally stealing your idea!

    We’ll be guided together!

  4. Regan: There’s nothing like Faith No More to wake you up on a Wednesday morning!

    Carol: I think an anchor can be just about anything, as long as it means something to you. If you’ve stuck with WW for a whole year already, I wouldn’t worry about it too much ;).

    Amy: So glad you dig the anchor and the jewelry! Anchors are definitely meant to be shared :).

  5. Really interesting! Sculptural art is my “second” job :-)

  6. Dr. J! You totally have to find an excuse to post pics of your sculptures on CalorieLab sometime!

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