So, the other day I was cleaning our bedroom up and I came upon a number of things that I’ve had for sometime. Things like medals from high school, and a few statues I had painted like this guy:
As you can tell, he’s seen better days. But the strange thing is I can’t bring myself to throw him away. In the end the dragon is a broken ceramic statue that’s a left over memory of a day outing to Mahoney State Park in Nebraska. See, at the time I had an ingrown toenail. And, because of it I wasn’t permitted to go swimming. I spent the time apart from others I went with and I painted him. I distinctly remember wanting to put those gold streaks on his rock base, imagining he was guarding a great treasure.
But you know what’s really interesting? That I know the dragon is an inanimate object. He doesn’t feel, doesn’t speak, but would sit somewhere in my bedroom keeping a constant vigil. So why do I keep personifying it? From that thought, I’ve begun wondering why we personify other things. Why are ships referred to as “her”? Why does Han softly speak to the Millenium Falcon, saying “Baby, hold it together.”?
The best guess I can muster is that we personify these objects in order to tell ourselves that the thing is trying harder or that it can all be fixed. Think about it, if a web page refuses to load, I know some will ask the browser why it can’t just work and do as it should. It’s no different then a boss telling an employee to work harder. So, my take on it is that we personify inanimate objects and talk to them in a manner we WISH we could talk to others.
But what of my dragon? If I personify him because of something I want to say to people, what’s the point of me keeping him in a broken condition? Because I would rather tell people that it can all be fixed. That the pieces need to be put together, and it can all be new again. When that happens, maybe then we can stop yelling at our cars that won’t stop and look at how to actually treat the problem.
It’s time I bought some strong glue.