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 Category:  Essay Non-Fiction
  Posted: October 21, 2019      Views: 12

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This work has reached the exceptional level
This is a short essay about bells.
"If I had a Bell" by Sandra Ludwick

Back in 1962, a rather newly organized group known as Peter, Paul and Mary recorded the song, "If I had a Hammer." One of the verses addressed the issue of a bell. If I had a bell, I'm not sure I would know what to do with it. The most obvious question is would I use it to play music? If so, what kind of music would I play? Would I play church music or secular music? If I played church music, would I do it alone or with a group or choir?

I could also use my bell to summon or gather people together as was the case historically with the town crier. But then the question becomes where would I use my bell? Perhaps from or in a tower? And what would be the purpose? I could use it to warn people the British are coming like the 1775 midnight ride of Paul Revere as written by Longfellow. Or perhaps I could use my bell to draw individuals to church or even to ward off evil spirits for those individuals who are superstitious.

Bells can be used to signify beginnings and/or endings. Thus, I could use my bell at weddings, funerals or even at boxing matches. Bells can be relaxing like wind chimes which make a tinkling sound in the breeze. They can also announce an event like the welcome presence of a guest at the door, or an approaching railroad train. Bells can even serve as timekeepers as in the number of rings and are especially useful to the Navy. They may even dictate a school or workday.

The interesting thing about bells is they come in all shapes and sizes. They are not cultural or economically specific. Ancient sages saw bells as the vault to heaven. Christianity links bells with the voice of God and a higher mental power. Whereas China associates bells as communication with the spirits. Russian Orthodox addresses bells as a deity. Buddhism sees bells as pure wisdom. And Hindu reflects bells as the bringer of knowledge.

Sexual references are even made to the bell being an expression of the female organ, and the clapper, the male counterpart. Further, cross-cultural ideas suggest that an association with the mind and an expansion of consciousness exist, i.e. the ability of the mind to disengage and become receptive to a higher power.

Lastly, but in my opinion, most importantly, the bell is what this country is founded on as represented by the Liberty Bell. For, without that freedom, most other bells would have little or no meaning. Church, education, gatherings, ceremonies, warnings, and the like would just be moot points. They would be nothing more than the sound of silence. So, I say to every individual RING YOUR BELL LOUDLY! For, as per Peter, Paul and Mary: RING IT IN THE MORNING, RING IT IN THE EVENING, ALL OVER THIS LAND. It truly is the sound of freedom.

Author Notes
This is an essay based on bells.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Raoul D'Harmental at

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