Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What's Your Life's Metaphor?

I'm working on a feature story for a local magazine called OPEN and the subject is a wonderful woman who is multi-faceted and very beautiful. Of course, the first metaphor that brings to my mind is s diamond. But to me that is too cliche, so I got thinking about other metaphors that our lives represent, and that has led me to this blog post.

I'm in Hawaii today - and for the next 10 days - where I'm treated every morning to a westward looking view so I can see the sun coming up on the mountain outside my window, reflecting on the windows of the buildings in downtown Honolulu (not exactly an ocean view, but beautiful in its own right).

So I've been thinking this morning about metaphors for life. I came across a post from the Gaia Community called "What are your metaphors for life?" The author was talking about the study guide for What the Bleep and mentions ecophilosopher Joanna Macy's five central metaphors through which people in different spiritual traditions see the world:

world as battlefield,

world as classroom,

world as trap,

world as lover, and

world as self

The authors added world as machine to the list…

There are many other metaphors for life…

A Journey

A Garden

A Battery

A Mission

A Prison

A Roller Coaster

A Mountain Climb

A Race

A Courtroom

What are your metaphors for life?

How much do you operate within each of these worldviews?

The metaphor I keep coming back to as I struggle to do justice to this wonderful woman's life story (in only 1500 words!) is a river. Rivers are always moving forward, even when we don't think they are; they're never a constant speed - there are rapids, floods, pools, eddies, reactions to outside forces; as humans we have cut new channels, meandered from the expected paths, migrated, evolved, carrying much to deposit elsewhere. Sometimes when the going of our lives gets tough, we need simply to turn around - not push the river but go with the flow.

What metaphors come to mind when you think about your life? Or life in general? How does that worldview shape what happens in your life - what happens to you?


At 4:22 PM, Blogger Lance said...

"Life's a journey" -- without a doubt. I find myself using this phrase more and more often. And I really do see life being a journey - a journey into our souls, a journey down new roads in our life, a journey of discovery, a journey of understanding...

At 3:41 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Lance: This is a great metaphor - and the beauty of the journey is that it doesn't end ... it's the journey, after all, not the destination. Thanks for stopping by!

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got me thinking, Jodee. I think of life as a Search. What I am searching for changes and sometimes I don't even know what it is. Sometimes it lies in the physical realm, sometimes emotional, intellectual, or spiritual. I almost said "journey" but that sounded too passive to me. Thanks for stimulating this Search!

At 5:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life is like the game of basketball. You take shots, you make em or miss em. You hopefully keep shooting.

Throughout life, you hope to be there and help others in their life, just as a basketball player passes to a teammate or sets a screen.

Good b-ball teams are close with each other and exhibit fundamentals of skill and teamwork. Throughout life people need loved ones and solid dependable friends to count on.

Just as there are many different ways of scoring, assisting, rebounding and playing defense in basketball, there are many different ways to "do" life.

You can be creative and wonderous, or just be boring but efficient.

It depends on the individual. Whatever works.

Just don't be bad.

That's what practice is for.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger kristin mac said...

I know your life metaphor post is from last week, but i've just came across it and feel the need to share mine. Probably because it's so new for me.

Life is a jungle.
sometimes we don't understand where we're headed and can barely see 10 ft. in front of us, but sooner or later we hit a bright patch. Everything becomes clear, even for just a little bit.

We may come across mountains to scale and swamps to trudge through. Unexpected things will happen (wild animals, weird diseases) but if we keep ourselves prepared, we can handle anything we come across.

It often reminds me of "Romancing the Stone" with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

thanks for the question!

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Dick, Ryan & Kristin:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses! I'm finding more and more every day that metaphors just keep popping up. I spent 2 full weeks in Hawaii and was inspired all over again in lots of ways - life really was a beach there! I learned so much about aloha and ohana ... I'll share in another post, but thanks for adding more to our metaphor conversation!

At 9:14 PM, Blogger tree of thoughts said...

life is an experiance, not to be half lived, scared of, or taken advantage of but to be lived. To experiance joy, bliss, sadness, and hardship, to see beauty, to witness filth. Lifes experiances, the worlds definition of itself will unfold its self before your eyes everyday. enjoy being you, and enjoy experiancing all that this life offers


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