cultural difference?

In our discussion on Language for God last night, the starter of Jim Cotter’s prayer wasn’t nearly as productive as I hoped.   We all liked ‘who is making the heavens and the earth’, and ‘My Unicorn’ did get some reaction, but when I asked that we play devil’s advocate and name the potential negatives and positives of the image, it was fairly dry.

I didn’t expect that.  Not even the prompt: “imagine that you are praying with a 6 year old girl — how might she experience the phrase?” got us anywhere.

Eventually, I had to face the possibility that much of what I assume of unicorns is American.

So, in the spirit of educational research, I need your help.

Free association word game, please, for Unicorn.

gold stars for originality and good use of evocative language.

12 thoughts on “cultural difference?”

  1. Oooo! This is a fun game! (although I’m not sure this will be useful for your purposes of gathering a local take in the fantastic beast)

    Off the top of my head (probably neither original, nor evocative – but perhaps I’ll have another go later):

    virgin
    one in oneself
    tapestry
    Garden
    sharp
    danger
    awe
    wonder
    radiance
    magic
    mystery
    numinous
    here and not here
    presence/absence
    knowledge and ignorance, blended in measure
    fearless
    innocence
    wisdom
    [what does it mean to bring innocence and wisdom together? is this even possible? or desirable?]
    snowdrops
    clarity

  2. white
    gold
    rare
    portent
    death
    danger
    catch
    escape
    desire
    beauty
    beyond
    unachievable
    transforming
    transcending
    impossible
    flash
    break over point
    crisis
    not lion
    not Aslan
    fighting
    not there
    lure
    trap
    imprison what should be free
    what is not
    what might be.

  3. Due to either my isp or my lap top, I don’t see any posts for a long time, and have no idea if I did post my last list, or if as I think I accidentally deleted it. Sorry if you have two.

    Not lion
    not Aslan
    fighting
    fear
    what is not
    what can be imagined
    unique
    white
    gold
    shining
    glimpsed
    elusive
    beauty not of the created world
    magic
    pure
    trapped
    escaped
    half understood sexuality
    beyond
    portent
    death
    crossing maker
    break over point
    shimmering
    fear
    which takes
    which gives
    desired to madness
    loved to destruction
    flight
    song
    dance
    the utterly beyond.

  4. In the Holy Town on the edge of the North Sea it is easy to think about unicorns. I am convinced that they are to be seen at the end of the West Sands. I suspect that there are Narwhal swimming in the area as well.

    Have wondered if there is a difference between unicorns and narwhals.

  5. I am just *so* English, my first reaction was “no such thing as unicorns, harumph”. I have no problems with fantasy, creativity, etc, it’s just that unicorns in my mind belong with the tinfoil helmet brigade – I think that’s why I would have struggled if I’d been in this group*. It’s about as inspiring (and dismissable) as young earth creationism to me, and is one of those words that would just make me instantly switch off. But that is just me. Now, if you’d said “wind turbine” instead of “unicorn”, I could probably have come up with most of the suggestions above (and will probably now spend the rest of the morning daydreaming and riffing on the thought of wind turbines rather than writing my thesis!).

    Hmmm, I’m wondering if I’ve revealed too much here ….!

    * I’m now remembering a Lent group at St N’s you led a few years back where I thought the activity was inspired and led me to the most direct encounter I’d had with God in absolutely ages (I’ve still got the paper with the activity somewhere and still look at it and marvel sometimes), and the rest of the group hated it and reacted really vociferously to it. So I don’t think it’s that I’m being ornery for the sake of it …..

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