Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ivory tower

Ivory Tower...something I've long thought of. A place I am kept? A place I wish I were kept? A place I would like to go? A place to retreat...A place for princesses...A place from fairytales...Beautiful...Wistful. Distant. Cold? Isolated? Perhaps containing a puppy. Or (yikes!) maybe a kitty. Filled with beautifully-colored frocks, just right for singing and dancing around, just like every girl does, all day long...right? Oh, that's just me? Oh, that's right. I don't dance. (Anyone who saw my attempt at line dancing at the Halloween party will gladly verify.) Well, I twirl, anyway. And I twirl with the best.

I thought I would use my old pal, Google, to see what I could find out about the origin of the term "ivory tower". I found different ideas than what I had in my mind. I thought I would share them here. I mean, why not?

The first mention of ivory towers, everywhere I looked, is attributed to the Bible. Song of Solomon 7 :4 reads:
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.
Well, that wasn't anything like what I thought. At any rate, according to Websters-dictionary-online.com, in Judeo/Christian tradition, I discovered, the term Ivory Tower has been a symbol for noble purity. Also, in Catholicism, it is used to refer to the Virgin Mary.

The other meanings I came across for ivory tower were not half so romantic as I had in my mind. I found many long, fascinating, and some rather arduous explanations. Here I think I'll keep it simple. At answers.com the American Heritage Dictionary's definition is this:
A place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life.
The term is said to be "used most often in reference to intellectuals and artists who remain complacently aloof." Uh-oh. I'm a musician--that's an artist of a sort. Hmm. Maybe this dream of a lovely ivory tower isn't such a great idea. I don't want to be preoccupied with lofty considerations. Well, okay. I do. Some of the time. But definitely not a place to stay. Practical everyday life is pretty important, too.

Maybe I can just go there for an hour or two...now and then...



Ruby S Johnson said...

yes, now and then. We all need little escapes from time to time. Sounds like a good one to me.

Donna G said...

You artsy people kind of scare me...an ivory tower is always something I have avoided....

Clarissa said...

Haha, Donna. I live to scare! :-)