01 March 2009

Why Sparrows?

Perhaps you are wondering why I've settled on sparrows for my potential tattoo? Here is an array of reasons if you are interested:

Sparrows symbolize many things. Freedom, for one. Who doesn't want to be free in any sense of the term? In the last several months I've become free in a number of ways, and the sparrow represents those freedoms to me.

Biblically speaking, in the New Testament, Jesus reassures his followers that not even a sparrow can fall without God's notice, and that their own more significant suffering is certainly seen and potentially forestalled or redeemed by God (Luke 12:6; Matthew 10:29).

Sparrows are a unique bird because when they find their mate, they stay together until the end. Isn't it absurd that birds can manage that but we humans fail to remain completely loyal? True, birds don't have the emotional complications that we have, but we are intelligent creatures and still make poor decisions when it comes to who we spend our lives with. I was raised to believe that marriage is forever, no matter what. I hold that belief strongly, but would probably allow for exceptions if the relationship turned abusive, etc. I like to think that I can read people well enough that I could rule out the possibility of a sour relationship with regards to abuse. That said, I can say that I will remain with the man I marry until the end; this is another way I relate to the sparrow. Sparrows symbolize finding true love.

Even journeys are linked to sparrows, though mostly in a nautical way. Tattoos of two sparrows are common among sailors because one represents a safe journey, the other safe return. Every 5,000 miles sailors add a banner from the sparrows' beaks (I think I got that part right; I read a few different things, but that seems on track for the most part). In addition to this, sparrows often travel great distances, but always return home. Life is a journey, and we hope for a safe one. Reflection is a sort of journey, and, to me, is the safe return, no matter the distance crossed. Here sparrows represent life's adventure and self reflection; those are two things I hold very dear, especially since my trip in Australia.


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