Remember Death – The Meaning Behind my Emblem

Remember Death – The Meaning Behind my Emblem

We each have symbols we use to define ourselves. Some of us use religious symbols such as a crucifix on a chain around your neck, or we wear clothing from our favourite sports teams to demonstrate our loyalty and allegiance. Not all of us even realise we are using those symbols to represent us.

For me, I use my jewellery. Each piece represents a particular aspect of me and my belief system. At this very moment, I am wearing a ring on my right index finger with a large V embossed on it. That V represents Veritas, the Latin word for truth. I wear it to remind myself that everything I write should be the truth. My reality.

That brings me to my emblem. For a long time I considered what I wanted to represent with it and after many designs, I finally settled on four evident aspects.

The Skull

My obsession with skulls has been long. I have always loved the image of a skull. I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t fascinated by the black eyeholes and the lipless smile of the dead. It has confused and freaked out various people around me throughout my life.

My interest in skulls is not a morbid obsession with the physical skull, but more what it represents – the final stage for each one of us: Death.

For myself, I have always understood that our lives will end and that there is nothing we can do about it. It is inevitable. It cannot be controlled. It comes to us all, and therefore it isn’t something we should fear. The skull isn’t a dark symbol of our demise, but instead of hope. It is a reminder that each of us has a finite amount of time on this earth and that we need to use it the best we can. No time can be wasted doing what we hate but instead doing what gives our life purpose and meaning.

That is why I always keep an image of the skull close to remind me that this life is my only chance to get it right – to achieve my purpose.

The Ouroboros

The ouroboros means ‘tail devourer’ in ancient Greek and has long been a symbol of the natural cycle of the universe. The image of a giant serpent devouring itself, creating that legendary circle represents to many creations out of destruction – life out of death.

On a personal level, the ouroboros means that while my life may end; life overall will always continue. When my body is burnt, the flowers will still bloom, the sun will again rise and set and so on. Our lives are small in this universe, but always relevant. We just have to understand that it will end and that means we must give our lives real purpose and not waste them.

The Glasses

The glasses are easy. I have worn them for as long as I can remember. Since I was nineteen months old to be exact. Glasses are the only constant I’ve had in my life.

Whilst I’ve gone through life’s battle over my sexuality, relationships, both romantic and plutonic and so on. I’ve always had my glasses safe to say; they’ve improved in style over the years.

The MM

Finally the MM. Many may assume these characters represent my name: Matthew Metcalf. In some respects they are, but to me, they truly stand for an essential maxim for life. Memento Mori – Remember Death.

Similar to the skull and Ouroboros, the MM reminds me that any of us could leave this life at any moment and that we each need to live with that in mind.

I use my emblem to honestly remind me that my life will end and that I accept that without sadness or fear. Instead, I must focus on living. On finding a passion and purpose and living to those standards.

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