Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (

As we’ve been learning, sometimes the seemly simple symbols can have the most diverse and profound meanings. When Jim asked me what I was writing about his month and I told him the dot, well, he gave me that look that says, “Oh really?” Well, yes, yes I am.

The dot, with its insanely simple design plays host to a myriad of interpretations. It can be viewed as a seed, not yet taken to budding. In this way you can view the dot as a symbol of new life, hope, or the promise of the future.

Obviously a dot can represent the end of things; ala the period at the end of a sentence, but with the end comes the assumption of a new beginning, such as the next sentence. Even more thought provoking is that the dot in the form of dots in a line (…) is a sign that something was left out or is going unsaid. Not only that, but divination and games that started with the use of stones, nuts, or seeds, eventually transformed into dots on dice and dominoes.

The dot can also be viewed as the center. The center of our eye is the pupil and the navel is the middle of our body. In the yantra, the point where the two triangles representing Shiva and Shakti meet form the bindu. The bindu, which is Sanskrit for drop, is the dot that is often seen worn or painted onto the faces of some Hindus and Buddhists. The bindu is worn in the position of the third eye. It represents the point at which creation begins and the point at which the unity becomes the many. It is also said to be the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state. It is the center at which all experience is compacted into the total concentration before imploding back to its origin. Got that? Good, now will someone explain all that to me?

No matter how you approach it, the dot is much more than, well, a dot. Not only is it all of that stuff, but it’s also a wonderful pattern on clothing. No one can talk about dots without mentioning, however briefly, the song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” as performed by Brian Hyland. Now that I’ve mentioned that, I can call this column complete.

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