A Metaphorical Journey, Literally

I take things literally. I mean, really literally. Growing up, I didn’t get half the jokes that folks told, because they didn’t make sense, literally. It was a line from a TV cartoon, a threat was made, then followed up with: “And I mean that, Literally!”

We use metaphors practically all the time, we have made it so that we cannot live without them. They can get in our way, especially when the metaphor is not connecting for the person or people that we are speaking to. The metaphors may not be translating through the different cultures.

Have you thought about the metaphors you use? “I’m full.” “I’m worn out.” “I’m walking a thin line here.” “I’m lost.” “I’m buried in work.” Are you really buried, or on a physical line, or don’t know where you are? Or do you use it as a metaphor to describe your harder to describe literal situation.

When I write, even though I am terribly literal in my day to day understanding of the world, I also struggle to write concretely. I don’t mean in the concrete, of course, but with images and ideas that are firmer, more specific. I use words to evoke truth, but I tend to use them a few hundred feet above the ground, rather than using specific examples to say what I want.

I have some idea that I need to be more concrete, that I need to begin to show what I mean, rather than just tell it. I have a desire for people to walk with me, both in my words and in my ways, to be able to journey to a deeper understanding, together.

You’d think with my experience that I would be able to take folks on my journey of literal understanding, and maybe I do need to take them on a literal journey with me. Though I think that the metaphorical journey is just as exciting, and possibly a bit more treacherous… it’s hard to point out to where you are going when you can’t see it your self. But it is a journey worth taking. We’d learn a whole lot about each other. So let’s go.


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