Isis knot and Ankh

Tiet and Ankh unfired faience pieces.

My ankhs always seem to break. Oh, that one up there hasn’t yet, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it survives firing tomorrow. The one I posted before? Yes, that one broke too. One arm broke before firing, and my attempt to put it back on was only partially successful. It held on by only a few grains of sand on the surface.  I think the one up there is attempt number five. Ankhs, like the life they represent, are delicate. Also like life, I don’t know how these will turn out. I switched up my recipe again, trying to get it right. Try, try again. I’m just tripping over metaphor tonight.

No one quite knows what the ankh symbol originally represented. There have been many theories floating around including sandal knots, mirrors and libation bowls. I think it looks like a person with arms outstretched in joy. Sometimes my horticulturalist’s eye takes over and sees a tiny seedling with the two cotyledons open on either side while the true leaves bud in the center. The Isis knot, Tiet, next to it is often used in the same context, but with an added reference to the goddess Isis or Aset.

Life is such a huge subject that I’m not sure where to begin. Words just don’t do it justice and neither do those simple looking symbols up there. This is another of those basic concepts that we take too much for granted. I think of seeds blowing on the wind, and no one knows which ones will take root. Seedlings are so very fragile, that again, you don’t know which ones will live long enough to grow into trees, or flowers, or food. Life is uncertainty, but that never stops it from trying, any time and any way that it can. It thrives, not through perfection, but through persistence.


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