Monday, December 20, 2010

The Power of Three

The power of three. Three is a mystical number that shows up repeatedly in mythology: three fates, three muses, three graces. Three is a prime component of fairy tales: three wishes, three little pigs, three bears. Three creates a series, a pattern of cause and effect. Three is a basic structure of life: carbohydrates, protein, fat; electron, proton, neutron; past, present, future. And it is a basic structure of stories: beginning, middle, end. Schoolhouse rock even claims that "3 is a magic number"

In my life, 3 definitely is a magic number. I have two siblings, and together we make three. We have always been very different, but have remained close. After the divorce it became even more important that we become that glue that holds the family together. No one could change that, not divorce, not distance, not time. We we would always be family, three as one.

Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. ~Vietnamese Proverb

With an emphasis on the feet. So for 4 years now I have been searching for a way to express this, something permanent, that would forever remind me of the roots, love and support I have from them. My first idea was of getting the Gaelic word for family "taeglach"... but I decided that I didn't want something that I couldn't even pronounce. My next idea, was an ambigram (a word or name written so it reads in more than one way), but in order for it to be legible, it would need to be quite large... and I wasn't sure how big I wanted it. So finally, I found something that not only could symbolize my Irish heritage, but also my relationship with my siblings, and the importance of family: the Triquetra (a.k.a Trinity knot)

A widely recognized knot for the past two centuries, the Triquetra has been used as a sign of special things and people that are threefold, such as Mother, Daughter, Grandmother- the Trinity of soul, physical, mental and spiritual- and especially the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is uncertain what the symbol truly meant to the ancient Celts, but I know what it means to me. I wanted to get in on my foot to remind myself of my roots, to stay grounded, and true to myself and where I come from.

"Sibling relationships outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship. They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust."
~Erica E. Goode, "The Secret World of Siblings," U.S. News & World Report, 10 January 1994

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard

1 comment:

  1. I will post a picture of the real tattoo soon!