My word was Bone…
The absolute first thing that popped into my head was: Uh oh this could end up in a weird place! Luckily it was only slightly weird. I looked at all the images that came up, from women (of the bone-able persuasion I assume) to beautiful pieces of jewelry made of bone and then back to bone soup and the macabre. Skulls and broken bones, dinosaur, full skeletons in the ground and ones used in science class and more… the results were so varied.
And so I start with the one that stuck out the most.
It’s strange how someone can take a bone, something that is both rare and plentiful at the same time and make a canvas out of it. Plentiful because we all have them and they’re all around us, all the time but unless something is drastically wrong or incredibly delicious we rarely see them. Rare because the bone of that animal or person is the only exact one of those creatures… there will never be another you… that chicken is gone, that cow is gone.. it will never come back. Oh there will be new animals and people but it’s not the same.
I looked at the little carving and wondered was it human or animal? Either way whatever it had been was long gone and would never be back… and someone had used this fragment of a life gone forever and turned it into a piece of art. I’m not sure how to feel about it. On one hand it’s creepy to think of this piece being part of a living breathing thing and someone dug it up, cleaned it up and then carved it to make an expression of their own will on someone or something else.
A bone is inside of us, it’s an intimate part of who we are it allows us to walk, to take the shape of our face, our hips. They tell the story of our lives, how old we were, what we ate, sometimes what we did for a living, where we lived. If we’re murdered they can tell how…
But they’re often taken for granted, until something goes wrong. And yet the word is everywhere: Uh oh, we’re boned… which has come to mean screwed over… I’d like to bone her… and of course there’s boner…. or bonehead to describe a particular mindset or stupid mistake. Working our fingers to the bone, skeletons in the closets, the skull and bones on pirate ships, to see them is to know something is poisonous. Bone tired… Frozen to the bone… There’s even a song about how the bones go together: The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone. Alas poor Yuric! I knew him, Horatio.. a man of infinite jest.
The word and the image is pervasive… and has so many meanings, so many images… almost as varied as the bones themselves.