"I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Gift of Love and Luck... or "The Tale of Piggeldey Wiggeldey"

"To a father growing old nothing is 
dearer than a daughter."
Carl Orff - "O Fortuna" from "Carmina Burana"  
played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
It is strange how something small can evoke for many people strong emotions and fond memories. For me it is a small lump of plastic (W1.8cm x B0.8cm x H1.3cm) in the form of little pink pig with the cutest black beady eyes, a red snout, red trotters and two red spots. This little pig evokes such a strong poignant feeling of love, profound loss, happiness, sorrow, despair and melancholy all at the one time.

These little pigs are sold in their thousands each year throughout Austria and other parts of Europe as a New Year token, along with other shapes. They are given out to the customers who frequent your business, children, friends and family as wishes for the coming year. Wishes for the recipient. Pieces of luck, fortune, health, joy, love, wealth, abundance, etc., made out of marzipan, chocolate, plastic, wood, felt, fabric, metal, clay, paper or any other medium that can be fashioned into a shape or image. The pig is one of the images for luck.

I can remember Daddy coming home with this tiny pig from a New Year’s Day 2012 party. I asked who his little friend was. Dad told me it was mine. I argued that he should keep it. He was equally insistent I was to take it with me when I returned to Vienna for good luck. So there and then, we baptised the pig, “Piggeldey Wiggeldey”.

My Father was not much on gift giving, he would always give us money to buy what we wanted. It was easier for him. He wasn't big on shopping. So whenever he did actually give us something other than money, it was something I treasured, because he thought about it.

So why does Piggeldey Wiggeldey evoke such a strong poignant feeling of love, profound loss, happiness, sorrow, despair and melancholy for me when I look at him, you may ask? It was the last New Year’s Day that I shared with my Daddy and he gave me his little plastic New Year’s pig. It is the sweetest gift I ever received from my parent. My Dad wanted me to be lucky. I was lucky to have such a parent and I am so lucky he left a piece of his love in the material form of Piggeldey Wiggeldey, to be with me forever. 
O Fortuna*

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing
and waning;
hateful life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as the sharp mind takes it;
and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate – monstrous
and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.

Fate – in health
and virtue –
is against me,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the strong man,
everyone weep with me!
"The only sure thing about luck 
is that it will change."
Bret Harte 

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