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Monday, October 19, 2009

My Metaphor

I want to share a metaphor with you which explains what I am experiencing during my recovery. As an artist, I value metaphors more than clinical data because they are easier to grasp and often carry more truth. A lot of times you can get lost in numbers, charts, and graphs, but with a single metaphor your mind can grasp everything.

In my case, the recurring metaphor that makes sense to me most is something like this:

Imagine being born, looking ahead of you and seeing a giant wall—stretching infinitely in either direction—but there is a defined "top" of the wall with something you want to see on the other side. You feel someday you will see over this top, but first you must do some work. The first half of your life will have to consist of collecting stepping stones—experiences—that you amass and methodically pile one on top of another until you have so many stones laid at the foot of the wall they form a ramp leading all the way to the top.

The moment when you finally climb all the way to the top and are about to take your first excited look to the other side, the wall suddenly vanishes. All the stones cascade into the other side because nothing is holding them in place anyone, and you go tumbling into the other side along with them.

As I have allowed my head to readjust to not having a tumor in there anymore, this is really how things feel. There is no more wall. Any method I had previously used to categorize or feel about my previous experiences do not apply anymore, because all the stones I had stacked just so are now tumbled down on the other side, strewn about and not sorted in any way. They are all lying about randomly so I am able to wander freely, picking them up and looking at them with great interest, so many of them forgotten but now roaring back, now feeling like both an observer and a participant at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Life threatening experiences change your perspective on a lot of things. Life IS short and can end unexpectedly in a thousand ways. It is a positive and healing thing to stop, take stock, and refocus on all the opportunities (and toss out self imposed limits) left to explore!