Friday, May 15, 2009

A Metaphor For...Something....


...got lots of response to that skeleton post...about skeletons as metaphors for...something.....a couple nights ago I was walking past this health club...in my peripheral vision coulda sworn I saw naked people...so, then, turned and looked more closely...turned out they were skeletons, next to the massage tables...so, basically, I was right...it’s just that they were really really naked people...

...one time when I was a kid my mom was reading this book...think it was I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou...I asked her what it was about...she told me it was about this girl growing up in the south and dealing with racism and...basically nothing to do with birds or singing....I said so why don’t they just call it that instead o’ this misleading crap about birds singing?...or something like that...quite indignant about the willing obfuscation...

...my understanding of metaphor has evolved since then...somewhat...though, I still don’t actually know why the caged bird sings...since...gotta admit this...I still haven’t read the book...but I have a copy and I’m planning on it...

And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?
Shakespeare

...Shakespeare was good with metaphors, but he didn’t seem to like them much...since neither a summer’s day nor the sun itself really seemed to do justice to anybody worth writing a poem about....Lawrence Sterne went on and on insisting that, when he mentioned a nose, all he really meant was, in fact, a nose...and some time later, Freud said sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar...though I’m less likely to believe him...

One problem with Yahweh, as they used to say in the old Christian Gnostic texts, is that he forgot he was a metaphor.
Joseph Campbell

...of course it’s also been suggested that life and existence are themselves nothing more than metaphors...though the question remains for what?...then, if that could be answered there might not be any need for metaphors in the first place....anyway, what if it’s the other way around?...what if those great unspeakable mysteries are all just metaphors for stuff that’s in your kitchen cabinets?...or what if everything’s simply a metaphor for itself?

...if this blog is a metaphor, I can only hope it’s for something not too onerous...like a minute or two spent sitting in full lotus on a rock in the middle of a rushing stream, margarita in hand, music whirring through the pines, and a loved one nearby...

...as opposed to slopping through rancid muck to get nowhere....though, if it’s that, you really should’ve stopped reading by now...

12 comments:

RB said...

When I was 13, my mom gave me the William Blake Tarot deck. All of his paintings and philosophy and poetry-predicting your future. That picture you have here was (is) on the front of the box. Yes. I still have the deck. And I still use it. If you want metaphors...

Bird said...

I like to think that my life is a metaphor for a sapling in the deep dark forest that's reaching for the light and will never ever be able to grow fast enough to get there... oh now look SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, I'm romanticising about never quite getting all the dishes done in a totally overblown way, that's the trouble with metaphor (or is that hyperbole?)

Anyhow yaaay William Blake! I love the ancient of days, the edition I saw had been printed so firmly that all the little sinews in Urizen's arms actually stood up out of the paper. That's when I decided I wanted to be a printmaker. Means a lot to me, that picture.

svasti said...

Speaking of metaphors, I really like the idea of the universe as a holograph. In which, no matter how many teeny tiny pieces you break it into, each and every miniscule piece contains everything that makes up the entire universe.

This is kinda how I like to see things anyway. And then, if that's even somewhat true it makes so sense to use metaphors - poetically describing one thing with the qualities of another.

I mean, everything is a reflection of everything else, isn't it? At least, when we look outwards, we manage to see things that way. Do we need it to make any more sense than that? Can you see yourself in an apple, in technology, man-made buildings, a stream, a margarita, your lover, the sky, the stars?

I like to think I can, and that I also see them in me.

WR said...

Reading "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is a must. About far more than racism in the South (which was itself a metaphor for all racism everywhere),

skyewriter said...

What if everything is simply a simulacra for metaphor? (Or mimesis--choose your writer altho' I know semantically there is a différance.) Ugh, I think I just hurt my brain... Baudrillard, Plato and Derrida are not good in the AM.

Sorry I'm in defense mode. Not good for blog comments...

ZenYenta said...

I've always thought that baseball was a metaphor for the spiritual journey. Not for life in the more earthly sense as some like to maintain. But wouldn't it be funny if life was a metaphor for baseball.

I think as titles - and metaphors - go, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" is one of the best ever.

(¯`•._.•[Raaji]•._.•´¯) said...

hmm interesting...

Rhiannon said...

I love metaphors..I have always seemed to put a lot of metaphors in my poetry through the years..it just "happens" not planned.

The caged bird (woman) is "trapped", "she" is "caged" into a very difficult and harsh world she lives in...but she still "sings" which is her true soul and how she got through the horrific things in her life...a "survival of the fetus" and yet still keeping and "knowing" her true soul and yet "wounded spirit" she is somehow still intact. So, in a way she is "free" though still in a cage. At least that's the way I've always looked at it. Just my "metaphor" take on that book.

Hope you might drop by and check out my new post. I posted two really "ole hard rockin roll" (good guitar licks) music videos with some rock history of the lead singer and the group...curious to see what you might think of them?

Blessings,

Rhi

Rhiannon said...

Speaking of skeletons....for some reasons that made me think of that song by Rickie Lee Jones "Skeletons" from her album "Pirates"...it's a very beautifully written song but very sad.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I know why the Caged Bird Sings. That is a great book. I love Maya Angelou's poetry as well. You are in for something wonderful, discovering Maya Angelou.

You post makes me think of the occult axiom {that and the Holograph comment}
"As Above, So Below. As without, so Within."

Good stuff. Nature might favor diversity, but like any good girl geek, she likes infinite backups. So holographs make perfect sense.

Metaphores to me are all about communicating a personal experience that can be understood or as Heinlein might say, Grokked. Its like sharing food, or taking communion, but it's all cerebral.

Good stuff, that too.

Brooks Hall said...

In all the ways I communicate myself, I am metaphor. At the same time I am a self--just am never entirely visible to anyone, including myself. So I guess the metaphor is as good as it gets--which IS pretty damned and blessed good!

Lydia said...

Your line really, really naked people is one of those that brings tears to my eyes because it tickles me so much. Make sense? Does to me.

Thanks for the quote by Joseph Campbell. I called him "Dad," although he never knew I adopted him in that way.

Interesting thinking about what your/my/their blogs are metaphors for. Yours is the first description, not the last one.