What’s A Metaphor? Everything!

Making connections and comparing things … metaphors are the building blocks of our imagination.

They do say if you want to write, read.

Read, read — and then read some more.

All sorts, but especially stuff that might inspire.

Unlock your ingenuity. Call your intuition out to play.

Have you pottering in the garden of your own imagination.

And indeed, when something I read does resonate with me, or connect with me, it does make me want to do a little gardening myself.

Not just weeding, cutting back or planting.

I want to capture that honey bee humming through the fuchsia, pollinating as he goes, or become that spiralling butterfly feeding on the nectar in yon wilting agapanthus.

My span is limited but I’m not thinking about that as I flit and hop wherever I please.

My words are fluttering on this computerised page now, but I am still uncovering infinite variation in leaf and petal.

And feeling part of the garden’s eco-system, part of life itself.

For a system it is, and for me, it all connects.

We are all connected.

When I was younger I think I mistook creativity for daydreaming.

Flights of fantasy to nowhere.

Maybe I was encouraged/discouraged to do so.

Little did I know I was exploring the world in my own idiom.

Enjoying books and movies for themselves, but also as jump leads that jolted my own creative battery to life.

Only I never wrote any of that down.

But do you remember how easily this kind of stuff came to us as children?

Fun and achievement were indivisible when we learned to write:

“The cat sat on the mat …”

But we really squealed in furtive delight when we scribbled in the margins:

“And a fat bat sat on the cat, and he went splat, and that’s that … “

Still obeying the rules — we had to find words that rhymed with cat after all, but that was actually part of the fun, because it’s how our minds actually work …  we need limits to contemplate infinity, just as we are driven to make connections, recognise patterns, compare things … and it’s why metaphors are the very building blocks of our imagination.

Connecting things, and us.

Turning random thoughts and sensations into an eco-system

Everything reminds us of something else.

It’s how dreams work, how our mind works.

It’s like we just connect into a conversation that has already begun.

Maybe has even been going on forever.

And we are part of the collective unconscious, as Jung would have it.

Maybe just another name for eco-system …

The interconnectedness of things …

And it’s why art connects with other art, and with us and sets our imaginations dancing.

And why you are lying on the couch listening to Dark Side Of The Moon, and you are adrift on far off memories, you’re thinking about sanity and insanity, wondering how old Roger Waters is now, and is he happier, and you’re composing the first line of your next blog piece:

“They do say if you want to write, read”.

And it’s why I am still not finished banging on about I Capture The Castle.

Which I finally finished.

But it will never end for me.

Just as narrator Cassandra differentiates between stories with brick-wall happy endings and your interest in the characters ceases immediately you read the last line, and those precious works that are hypertext links in an endless communication.

Sometimes reading a particular book, or perusing a piece of art, or encountering someone significant, is so serendipitous it veers into the uncanny …

It’s almost like they are answers to a puzzle clue, waiting for you at just the point where you need them …

So it is with ICTC, which has worked for me on so many levels.

Dodie Smith/Cassandra are writers, and the book is also brilliant on the creative process itself, indeed the very title of the book — which captured my imagination and made me want to buy it even before I knew what it was about — comes from the idea of capturing, or rendering the beauty or things like the titular castle on a page as best one can.

The actual  creative process is also what Cassandra’s father has been pondering, and fears will continue to elude him.

As Simon tells Cassandra, her father sees creation as discovery … everything has been created already …

“I mean everything is already created, by the first cause — call it God, if you like; everything is already there to be found,” he tells her

And art, after all, he says, can state very little: “Its whole business is to evoke responses”.

According to Simon’s interpretation of the thoughts and motivations of Cassandra’s dad, we are all on a progressive, cumulative search for meaning … derived from eternal curiosity about our origin.

And it’s why, he says, we deal in metaphor, as we strive to capture the complexity of our existence.

Reaching for better and better metaphors to capture the beauty and mystery of creation.

It is all a function of wondering how was the universe created, and what happens next.

How a creator actually creates, is personal.

And inexplicable.

An enigma.

Furthermore, unless one innovates and explores, the whole process becomes stagnant.

There is no creation. Only repetition.

Just as metaphors must continually innovate or become cliches.

Or maybe I just read that somewhere …

  • Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, try another one! Follow my blog and you won’t miss out again.
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26 comments on “What’s A Metaphor? Everything!

  1. Tracey Carr

    Wow Enda you truly have been inspired and the cogs are most certainly turning in your mind at the minute! And I am partly very envious. Right now it feels like the garden of my mind is full of weeds. My head feels like a vacuum and the cogs badly need oiling – I need inspiration! But I feel better for reading your post and indeed I think I will sit down and do some reading. I haven’t for weeks and maybe that is part of the problem. So thank you once again for your post, maybe I can draw some inspiration from it! #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how your posts always feel like I am taking a journey through your thoughts – a journey that meanders and twists and winds and has so many interesting little points to ponder upon along the way. I think creativity comes when we give ourselves the freedom to allow our thoughts and our words to wander and take us where they will. Glad you enjoyed ICTC. It is such a great book. #WotW


    • Thanks so much Louise. very kind of you. I do think it’s nice to just let your mind take you on a little trip! And yes, one of the best things I have read!


  3. I love it when I read something that really inspires me, I want to write too, but the words that sound so brilliant in my head don’t translate to the page so well. I did a little course with a writer earlier this year focused on ‘fairy tales.’ And these old tales have been told in so, so many different ways over the years. Inspiration indeed. I went to see Matthew Bourne’s Romeo+Juliet this week and what a transformation that was. Mostly the same characters, mostly the same story, but put them in the future, in a mental institute and you have something completely different. As for the garden of my mind, well, it’s a bit of a jungle right now. Maybe I should read some more 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #wotw

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anne … I think it really is amazing how the old themes can be reworked in ways that are barely recognisable. Should be plenty of scope there. That Romeo and Juliet sounds cool too!


  4. Tracey Carr

    Back from the #dreamteam !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m living your metaphor, which in a strange way seems to connect the circle once more. Creativity, and what inspires it, is fascinating. Where does inspiration come from? Our brain will always play tricks, so we will never know the true answer, but maybe that’s good. If we knew, we’d be tempted to stop wondering, maybe. #wotw


  6. I find that most people stifle creativity as a ‘waste of time’ instead of embracing it. I worked with kids for 13 years after college before realizing that my creativity wanted to run free like it did when I was with the kids. Most people thought I was nuts, but now it has led to me being published! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have a look at Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. There’s a really good but challenging reading list at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Children really are the most creative little souls. My favourite pastime is sitting with a cuppa and listening to the stories my boys are ‘playing out’ upstairs…’a world of pure imagination’ #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Popping back from #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tracey Carr

    Back from #bloggerclubuk !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. *Smiling from ear to ear. That book must have really left an impression on you Enda. I love books like that too. The ones that never really end once the last line has come and gone. It’s funny, but I think the older we get, the more curbed our creativity can become. Leaning towards the more sensible, seems, well, sensible. But I think the magic happens when you let go and just run with an idea. Story… novel? Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam 🙂 We love having you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah gee, Annette. THANK YOU! Yes, it’s pretty obvious I LOVED ICTC! ON the creativity front, I do find it really hard sometimes to just let things flow. Bit when they do, it’s a joy.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. as ever Enda, I’m loving your mindful ramblings along winding paths to unexpected discoveries and delights #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Books are the best gift for our imagination. Because as you say they can evoke so many memories and thoughts about things that we maybe hadn’t broached in years. My problem is that I need to find new authors really, as I have got a little stuck with what I know. A bit like real life, sometimes it is better to try new things to give a new direction. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jo … have a browse in your best local bookshop … has to be something there! I have made a big effort to read more novels, and I am delighted


  14. Oh wow I really enjoyed reading your post today, it’s been quite the experience. Personally you cannot beat a good book. Thank you so much for linking up with us for #kcacols and we hope to see you next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kelly-Anne, so glad you liked it. You are right, it is hard to beat a good book … I’m reading The Virgin Suicides right now, and it’s really good


  15. I love a great book that inspires you and I don’t spend as much time reading these days as I should or would like. I also don’t allow myself enough time to be creative. Right thats reading and time for creative thinking added to the to do list! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jade, yep, I have to recommend proper reading. Never too late, and you can grab a book for a read anytime, anywhere!


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