Monday, July 9, 2018

Essays: Short Essay: Thimbles of Life


The photograph on the left is a collector’s set of thimbles. Each thimble is designed and finely crafted to represent a country in Europe. I collected these thimbles in fond memory of my father, C. P. Joanes, who creatively designed and sewed women’s clothing and men’s classic suits in Nairobi, Kenya.

These thimbles are symbols of life. In reality, each thimble serves to protect the outer skin of the finger from the pricks and pokes of the needle. And in our daily interactions with people we find ways to protect ourselves from harsh and, sometimes, unwanted criticism; we create an unseen inner protective layer to withstand this kind of reproach. When we are not successful we appear bruised and that takes time to heal to get to that place of mutual humanitarianism.

The thimble is also a conduit for pushing the needle through different strengths and thicknesses of the varying kinds of fabric. In this instance, the symbolic premise lends itself to negotiating with each other to achieve the best outcome for the good of all involved in any given situation. There is discussion, agreement followed by disagreement and the active engagement in the process of problem solving. Ultimately, it culminates to a compromised decision. Some are pleased while others accept the outcome.

In life there is a need for safeguards and support mechanisms. How we construct these determines the success or failure of being in harmony with each other.

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