Strength in Small Packages: Photographing Symbols

Photogrief / Photogrief : Eleanor Haley


The acorn necklace my sister, Jessie, gave me the Christmas after my mom died is in this twisted, tangled mess of silver chains and baubles.  It’s the same kind of necklace my mother wore when she was sick. At that time she told us that the acorn stood for strength, but acorns had been special to her long before she identified with their symbolism. I remember acorn ornaments hanging on the Christmas tree and stories of how my dad used to collect acorns and bring them to my mother when they were dating. To be honest I don’t personally understand the fascination, but because they were special to my mother, they are special to me.

One would hardly assume I cared about this messy nest of jewelry. They certainly wouldn’t assume that every once in a while, when I need a dose of strength or sentimentality, I untangle one particular necklace and wear it close to my heart.

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