Minding My Metaphors

The older I am, the more I rely on metaphor. I don’t think I have met a metaphor I wouldn’t try. I am reminded of a line from a May Sarton character, Harriet Hatfield, who says that if you “run metaphor into the ground, it suddenly doesn’t quite work.”

I could not agree more but still, I pursue metaphor. It is a life lens for any occasion. Metaphors reveal us–they peel back our skin–in the shedding, we are transformed.

I have never known this experience to be easy. When the metaphor has run aground, everything changes. My skin no longer fits. Metaphor is hard on relationships.

Some will expand with new possibilities; others will simply grow increasingly distant. In transformation, no one and no thing continues just to maintain the status quo.

Avoiding conflict is like throwing a boomerang. It always returns. This metaphor grounds itself every time. Yet, I keep expecting that it won’t.

In shedding, I sit with my emotions as they explode. I handle my old skin gently, slowly moving through the drama of not being enough for others. I accept that and leave the skin behind.

I am revealed, scars and all. All the things I will never be give way to all the things that are yet possible. I find comfort in compassion, love, equanimity and even a bit of joy. These are the forces of transformation.

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
— Edward Everett Hale

I have yet another metaphor to meet it seems.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

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