An Iron Cross contains the power of Continuation

As a result of the Vestibular disruption, I lost my physical ability to walk and any perception of balance in my sensations of continuous motion.  It was only four years ago that I was bedridden for a calendar year.  While the feelings of continuous motion continue today, the intensity has lessened.  I have “relearned” how to walk and can once again exist in space.  Perhaps this experience has been one of the most tangible blessings I have received; the opportunity to have to learn how to stand and to walk again as an adult in addition to learning as an infant.

In my opinion, a material possession is only an item, worthless in essence even if pricey in monetary value.  Worthless, that is, only if no memory or meaning is attached.  It is that meaning or memory invoked which is valued beyond any quantifiable measure.  It might seem strange but this idea dawned on me during a discussion concerning The Better Angels of Our Nature:  Why Violence Has Declined by Stephen Pinker and a review of this work by Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics at Columbia University.  Statistically, I can take the same data to argue in favor or against Pinker’s positions, but it is information which cannot be quantified where differences between the times purports more divergences.

Pictured is a priceless possession of mine.  The physical specifications are as follows:  A single square iron bar; ½ inch on edge and 3 inches long; several cuts on the bar; heated in a forge; unfolded on an anvil; 4 to 5 heating’s to form the cross; finish of Bee’s wax.

Iron cross made by Mike on a homemade forge

Iron cross made by Mike and his son Andrew on their homemade forge last year

It is precious because of my admiration and respect for Mike as a person, friend, and former colleague.  It is appreciated as a history professor and Louisiana strawberry farm boy when a Chemist, Professor, and a Registered Nurse  with those RN certifications solely for personal growth and challenges and earned years after a doctorate and Full Professor status, describes the work as a combination of science and art.  It is valued from the thought of Mike and his son Andrew building and working a forge together.  It is a treasure and inspiration as a gift.  It is most dear and encouraging to be Number 9 and possess a distinctive and unique coloring from those before and after.

The most valuable tangible possessions are those which recall memories or invoke special feelings of appreciation.