r: painful memories
Etymology: The origin of this symbol and spectrum
The “r” of memory is the original symbol, from my high school days. But then I realized I wanted more shades of meaning for this spectrum. As experiences tend to cycle in, repeating themselves over and over in my mind, I drew memory as a spiral, ending it on top if I liked it (as the best) or at the bottom if I didn’t like it (as the worst).
Orthography: How to remember these symbols
The “r” of memory is a loop on both ends, the lower end more of an angular shape. This is to rope in or loop our memories together, both the good (on the higher end) and the bad (on the lower end).
The “r” of good memories opens up out of the spiral, inviting great experiences and gathering in the wonderful things life has to hold. These are things to treasure.
The “r” of more difficult, painful memories, closes out of the spiral, allowing the memories to depart, to gently cycle out of our lives.
Philosophy: How I use these symbols to embrace life
I often can’t decide if a memory is painful and I need to let some of this go out of my life, or if I want to see—and hold onto—the good in the experience. So I draw out my spiral, thinking about the memory, seeing if I want to end the spiral up (and thus welcome this into my life) or end the spiral down (and thus let it gently drop out of my life).