06 May 2014

20 : A Skull on my Desk - Something New!

I Bought a Skull Today

I decided to buy a hand carved Howlite skull to place on my desk in my study, I was inspired to do this after recently enjoying listening to Philosopher Alain De Botton on ABC 24's Big Ideas programe.

Alain discussed the history of placing skulls on desks; during the Renaissance period it was very common for wealthy merchants to have a skull on display on their desk as a reminder that we will all die, that we are mortal.  This sounds very morbid, however, by reminding ourselves that we will die can help to re-focus priorities in our life, to realise that time is running out.  Instead of fearing death we should respect it and not allow fear to weaken our sense of resilience.

I have to say I love the idea and any previous concerns about having a beautiful sculpture of a human skull on my desk disappeared in an instant.  I already have some beautiful gemstone carvings on my desk which I love for many reasons.  However, during the search for those gemstones I came across several carved gem skulls and resisted the strange urge to buy one.  After hearing the original reason that skulls were kept on desks in our past it reignited my urge to buy one, and the search was back on.

After careful perusal I settled on a hand carved Howlite gemstone skull.  There are a couple of reasons I chose this one, it looks quite realistic yet you know it isn't as it is polished stone and a piece of art in its own right.  Also it is made from Howlite which is a soft gemstone that has traditionally been used to control negative emotions, stimulate imagination, help with reasoning, patience, observation and memory http://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/ 

It was hard to pick just one, there were some absolutely beautiful skulls with stunning coloured gemstone, however, in the end the most realistic was the best, plus the calming affects that this object may bring to my study.  The human skull also represents how amazing it is to be human, a protective vault that encases our unique brain that separates us from animals.  Our large prefrontal cortex allows us to be human; to be able to reason, plan and utilise social intelligence.  To be human is to be self-aware, not simply biological beings, the human skull represents in it's very form how evolution has brought us to where we are today.  What better place to remind us of our potential but to place this sculpture in a space of learning.   

It may still seem strange to some but I can't wait to receive my beautiful new skull to add to the already positive, calming and inspirational ambiance of my study; a place of learning and creativity.

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