By attempting to write poetry, I have learned that the use of metaphors is an excellent way to explore and find better and deeper understanding, to enhance and enlarge ones awareness and perceptions. When we attempt to compare apples to oranges, we open new doors, find unusual views that might not have occurred to us in the past. I have used several metaphors here, to better express the wealth of advantages open to anyone who would attempt to keep a daily record of his, or her, experience.
The word record is itself a metaphor for a journal, if you consider what the word suggests: keeping a tally, a running list, or simply a written report. But what about how the word pertains to music and the music industry. Then a journal might become the songs one sings on a regular basis, be they blues, rap, folk, country, jazz, classical, alternative, or rock and roll, and so many others. And each one of those could be a specifically different view, and a rich mine to explore the manner in which one moves through life, and actually becomes aware of self and the world which surrounds that self.
A metaphor is a figure of speech, meant to open creative avenues of thought, even inspiration. They are difficult only when not attempted. Trying to think them through is hard work, but when committing them to paper, thus giving them form and shape while writing them out, we slow down the thought process and often find golden nuggets along the path we are traveling. It is always amazing to me how just trying to compare one thing to another seems to open channels and avenues that have never been explored, even less considered, or thought about.
Today, I’m going to challenge you with a list of metaphors. Some, I have already used in different articles of this blog. Others will be new and different. Go through the list, find one or two that appeal to you, and are somewhat familiar to your own experience. Then make your own metaphor for how you feel, see, and think about keeping a journal.
1. Unraveling thread from a skein.
2. Tying and untying knots in fishing line.
3. Walking along a beach.
4. Making or viewing a movie.
5. A soundtrack, the songs that would best underscore the theme.
6. Speech writing.
7. Driving your car.
8. Learning a new language
10. Writing fiction
11. Baking a cake, or writing out a recipe
12. Sewing from a pattern
14. Bird-watching with Binoculars
15. Picking pickles, then canning same.
16. Cleaning one room in your house
17. Looking for a new home
18. Letter writing
19. Bill paying
20. Exploring a yet unexplored island
21. Creating a cure for cancer
22. Dancing alone, or with a partner
23. Singing in the Sunday choir
24. Falling in love
25. Waxing the car, or the kitchen floor
This is a pretty rich list and perhaps, for you, as it has for me, suggests others that might better serve your purpose. Choose one and compare it to your own experience of keeping a journal. It is best to compare using something you already have a good knowledge about. So, if I haven’t given you something that you do have more than a passing comprehension of, by all means, choose one that suits your expeirince . And in the process of making your own metaphor, keep track of those new perspectives that open before you.
Metaphorically speaking, I hope you find that secret gold mine and begin to dig and work the rich veins that have accumulated over time, waiting only for that shovel you alone may carry. If you do, I further hope that you come back and share your new found wealth with the rest of us. We’ll be digging our own tunnels, but will stop long enough to celebrate with you. Remember to always carry a lantern, and if you run low on the fuel that keeps it burning, I have an extra large supply I am willing to share with you. Good luck and prosper at your prospecting.
As for me, I’m going to go listen and watch David Cook, who has become a living, breathing metaphor for the Hero’s Journey and renewing the American Dream.