Key metaphors help determine what and how we perceive and how we think about our perceptions
- M. H. Abrams
I’ve been thinking about writing (fiction) again today. I think it just struck me because I was walking along the street looking for people to photograph and I got into that thinking that maybe I should walk somewhere else or go over the other side of the street, because maybe that’s where I’d find the person. And then for some reason I got to thinking about the other side of the street, how it was quieter, but also like a mirror image of the side of the street I was on, only a quieter image, like a pseudo-slightly-altered side of the street. And then I started to imagine stepping through a mirror and actually being on that other side, that altered state. Which is when it suddenly hit me - that none of that is real of course, as in there is no mirror, there is no pseudo-slightly-altered state - it’s just the other side of the street, and my thoughts are just a metaphor for feeling like I want something different - I want to be somewhere different, somewhere that I can find that difference - but not too different, just different enough to give me something new; something that I’m looking for.
Which brought me back to writing (fiction), because everything I ever wrote before seemed to become indulged in making those metaphors reality, creating a kind of fantasy that was close to real, but more than real (hyper-real or fantasy-real I guess, as genres go). But today I was just like “that’s not the point… there is no hyper-real or fantasy-real, just the real and the metaphor, and the metaphor is just a way of describing the real, but that’s all that it is”. I don’t know, probably makes zero sense, but it does to me and I like that. All the time I do this I think all I’m searching for is a metaphor that seems to describe something in the best, most real, most true way - the image of a person, their style, the expression of who they are in the metaphor of clothes. But at the end of the day that metaphor is nothing when compared to the reality of the image of the person and the things they wear, because that reality is the real and the metaphor is nothing.
Anyway, I guess that’s the kind of thing you get to thinking when you’ve been up until 3am on conference calls for a project, then up again as normal at 8am the next day!