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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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Walk Your Own Path

March 2nd, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, is being a left-handed monkey wrench your badge of honour?

My interest in insects and photographing them occasionally garners strange looks from casual observers. People who see me walking nature trails with my telephoto lens generally assume I am birdwatching. I mostly let this misconception stand as it avoids awkward exchanges.

But when I kneel down and point my camera at a tiny insect that escapes casual observation,  raised eyebrows and puzzled expressions are common. I can sense the voice in their head.   There is nothing there. What the devil is he photographing?  

This tends to happen even more at this time of year. In cooler weather, insects that are still active are mostly found on artificial surfaces warmed by the sun: sides of buildings, windows, wood or metal railings. I have staked out a few natural areas that have these kinds of surfaces.

A strip of Confederation Beach Park in Hamilton is one of my regular, cool weather haunts. In particular, there is a restaurant (closed in the winter months) constructed of concrete painted white. It also has a patio with a half size, white concrete wall around it. These white wall seems to attract insects and accordingly attracts my interest.

On a warm day earlier this week, I was scouring the walls of this restaurant with my camera at the ready. A man standing out in front of the restaurant (I suspect he was the owner or manager) was giving me that puzzled expression. The following exchange occurred.

“What are you looking for?”

“Insects. The white walls of your building seems to attract them.”

“Is somebody paying you to do that?”

“No, it’s just a hobby.”

I could read his mind as a suspicious expression emerged on his face. I don’t believe that for a minute. He’s up to something nefarious and I don’t like it. I smiled and moved on so I would not draw his ire. But I did circle back later, when the man had left, for a closer look.

My interest in insects is relatively new. But strange looks from other people are not. The fact of the matter is that I am a bit south of normal. I sing a different tune. I am a sore thumb. A unicorn. A left-handed monkey wrench. Pick your metaphor of choice.

It can be disconcerting when you fall into the category of a puzzle piece that does not fit. But eventually, with the wisdom of age, you come to terms with the fact that you are who you are. You learn to be comfortable in your own identity even if that identity puzzles other people.

Frankly, I have come to believe that being normal, a relative state at best, is overrated. It does make you blend in with the crowd which is comforting. But some of us were not meant to blend in. We were meant to go our own way however off the beaten path that may be. We accept puzzled looks and raised eyebrows as a badge of honour. Our motto becomes:

This is who I am. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. But that is your issue, not mine.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Random Act of Metaphor: The Mighty Midge

February 24th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, can we find inspiration in a creature so small it is rarely even noticed?

As you will know if you follow my posts, I have long been an admirer of butterflies and dragonflies. I have spent many a summer day trekking through conservation areas in pursuit of these winged wonders and snapping photographs of them.

I was always aware that there were innumerable other insects in the habitats I was frequenting. But it is only in the last year, since I retired and since I invested in better photographic equipment, that my interest (arguably my obsession) expanded to the full spectrum of insects of which there are an astonishing 44,000 + species in Canada.

The El nino winter we are experiencing in this area has made it possible to continue to pursue this interest throughout the winter months. And in that time, I have become a particular admirer of the miniscule yet mighty Winter Midge as shown at the head of this post. Such an elegant creature it is with its translucent wings, feathery antennae and spidery, thread-sized legs.

It seems improbable that these mosquito-sized insects could survive winter temperatures. And yet they do. I have learned that they can survive freezing below –20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) by suppressing their freeze-point with antifreeze-like biomolecules in their blood.

So when most other insects are dormant, Winter Midges are often still out and about. However, they have only a very short time to enjoy their resilience. Their lifespan is little over a month most of which is spent in larvae stage. Their adult life lasts a mere three to five days.

Live in the moment takes on new meaning when you’re a Midge. So it seems appropriate to nominate the Winter Midge as a random act of metaphor for the need to make the most of the time we have – for that time may be far shorter than we imagine.

~ Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Desperate Doug: Adding Fuel to the Fire

February 17th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, is there a more embarrassing public spectacle than the crash and burn of Doug Ford?

Contrary to what you might think, I am reluctant to post about Doug Ford and in any way contribute to his Hey, look at me, I’m the best thing that ever happened to Ontario nursery rhymes. But he keeps getting under my skin and forcing me to vent.

Ford’s public communications in the last year have been mostly about damage control and are desperate attempts to reverse the downward spiral of his ill-fated government. He loves being in front of the camera but digs himself into a deeper hole every time he opens his mouth.

His latest political defeat is being forced to repeal Bill 124 that capped salary increases to one per cent per year for broader public sector workers including teachers and nurses. The Court of Appeal ruled it unconstitutional as we all expected. This embarrassment piles on top of his other fiascos and political reversals:

The Greenbelt Scandal, the stench of which is still clinging to him, and the reversed course on changes to municipal official plans and regional boundary expansions.

Backing away from the proposed Dissolution of Peel Region which would have left Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon as independent cities.

Throwing in the towel on the law that imposed a contract on education workers and banned them from striking using the notwithstanding clause to guard against constitutional challenges.

Ford’s latest attempt to garner public favour is this week’s announcement of legislation that would in theory require any future Ontario government to hold a referendum before introducing a provincial carbon tax. This misguided political volley is so transparent it is laughable.

What is abundantly clear is that Doug Ford is desperately worried about new Liberal leader Bonnie Crombie who is championing the revival of the provincial Liberal party. He has dubbed her the queen of the carbon tax – a juvenile attempt at a slight that Crombie is laughing off.

Fully two years in advance of the next Ontario election, the Ford government is running attack ads aimed at Crombie. Crombie is laughing in his face as she appropriately dubs him Desperate Doug. The Ford Government is also spending our money on a Look what a good job we are doing on the Ontario economy advertising campaign.

Doug: None of us our buying into your rhetoric any longer. Many of us never did. Stop spending our money to try and put a positive spin on your fall from grace.

Where Doug Ford is concerned, we are witnessing the spectacular implosion of a political career. Every move he makes to try and salvage some respect falls flatter than the one before. Several members of his government jumped ship in the Greenbelt Scandal. I expect that others are plotting their escape as we speak.

Adding fuel to the fire is used to describe those who make a bad situation worse. It fits Doug Ford like a glove as he stumbles and fumbles his way through the demise of his political career.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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When I Grow Old: A Walk in the Sunshine

February 10th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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I grow old… I grow old…

I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled

~ T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

As I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, I lament the loss of the simple things of days long usurped by time.

Ah, the good old days. Simpler times. When there was time to stop and catch your breath. I find myself using these expressions more often these days. It is an inevitable development when you have more years behind you than ahead of you – the polite way of saying I am getting old.

I have no doubt that every generation falls back on these expressions in their senior years. But I believe that my generation – Baby Boomers – has a greater claim to them than ever before. We have seen a tidal wave of change over the course of our lives. Life has become so dizzyingly fast-paced and so much more complex.

Oh, how I miss the simple things of my small town youth. Things that required no digital technology and could be done on a whim.

Getting on my bicycle, with its high handle bars and banana seat, to go for a ride for an hour with no destination in mind and my own company to keep.

Strolling down to the vacant corner lot (long since occupied by an apartment building) to pick wild strawberries and catch grasshoppers.

Playing football in two neighbouring yards because no one felt the need to build fences around their property or worry about trespassers.

Going fishing at the creek with no GPS fish finder, no high tech – high speed – ultralight – gear ratio reel and no scented baits – just a dew worm on a hook and two lead shot sinkers.

Rotating the TV antennae to the right position to bring in the station you wanted to watch. Is that better? What about this?

Playing catch with myself throwing a rubber ball against the house and trying to get the perfect rebound from the spot where the foundation meets the ground.

Gathering at the neighbour’s yard in late summer to climb the big tree, pick pears, put them in a six quart, wooden basket and lower it to the ground by a rope tied to a branch.

Admittedly, part of this nostalgia is linked to the carefree days of youth when I had minimal responsibilities. But it is equally grounded in the simplicity of those times before the Internet, digital technology and the relentless sprint of progress.

As I grow old, I long for the days when simplicity reigned supreme. When a walk in the sunshine with nowhere to get to was the best part of the day and a source of fulfillment all by itself. Simpler times. The good old days. I miss them so.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Facebook, Google and Kafka

February 2nd, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, what’s on Facebook today?

I will confess that this is a regular prompt for my curiousity these days. (Yes, I know Facebook is now Meta. But it will always be Facebook to me.) It is the only social media platform I actively participate in and I do enjoy what it offers.

I am intrigued about the algorithm that Facebook employs. For those of you who may not know, this algorithm is a set of rules that evaluate and score each piece of content to identify the most relevant content for each user based on predefined factors. It applies these rules to determine what your feed displays. Some of what is appearing in my feed these days makes sense:

Lots of wildlife photographs and nature video reels. This makes perfect sense as I regularly post photographs to nature-related Facebook groups.  

Posts for the television series NCIS. Makes sense as that show leans toward my demographic (the 60+ crowd). I do enjoy that series and the various spin-offs from it.

Excerpts from old comic strips like The Farside and Peanuts (i.e. Charlie Brown & Snoopy). Makes sense as I am old enough to remember and enjoy those comic strips.

I am seeing lot of the “25 Most Embarrassing…” video reels – epic trips & falls and bonehead activities that end badly. Somehow the algorithm has figured out that these videos fall (no pun intended) into my guilty pleasures soft spot.

What is more intriguing, and a bit disconcerting, is that there is a clear connection between my Google search activity and what appears on my Facebook feed:

I had to buy a new smartphone and checked out the Rogers website to get an idea which phone I might want. Facebook now displays Rogers sponsored ads on my feed.

I am a Scotiabank customer and regularly access their website for online banking. Facebook now displays Scotiabank sponsored ads on my feed.

I check out the Toronto Maple Leafs game schedule regularly. Facebook now displays posts from the Maple Leafs page in my feed.  

I cannot help but think that Facebook and Google have some sort of agreement to exchange information. Does Facebook know all my Google search history and vice versa? These tech giants cooperating to track my digital footprint is too invasive for my liking.

Here is the really puzzling development. My feed recently included a link to an excerpt from Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis. Kafka is a Czech novelist and short story writer from the late 1800’s who wrote rather strange and highly metaphorical stories. The Metamorphosis is about a man who wakes up one morning to discover he has turned into a large insect.

Why is this disconcerting? In my university days (40+ years ago), I took a course on Kafka and wrote on essay on his work including The Metamorphosis. Somehow the algorithm determined that The Metaphor Guy has a latent interest in Kafka and that is very spooky!

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Getting Away is Okay

January 26th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, are you finding joy along the winding road of life or focusing only on the destination?

Recently the lyrics of the classic TV sitcom Cheers have been running on repeat in my head. It was 40+ years ago that this lyric was written but it rings even more true today.

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got / Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot / Wouldn’t you like to get away…

It feels like there is nothing but bad and depressing news flying at use every day. A few examples to illustrate my point :

The Israel Hamas war is raging on with the humanitarian crisis in Palestine worsening every day.

Houti rebels are attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea. The USA is responding with missile attacks.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is coming up on its two year anniversary with no end in sight. Patrick Sanders, Chief of the UK General Staff, is warning that UK citizens must be prepared for war with Russia.

The “mother of all cyber security breaches” has been reported. A staggering 26 billion records have been exposed in a supermassive leak from popular platforms including LinkedIn, X, Dropbox and Adobe.

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have issued more food recalls for reasons ranging from possible salmonella contamination to undeclared products that may cause reactions to those with allergies and sensitivities.

Donald Trump, despite all the charges laid against him and his increasingly unstable behaviour, has won the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. It is not out of the question that he could become president of the United States once again.

We are living in messy and worrisome times. We all need ways to get away from the messiness for a while. For some of us this may mean jumping on a plane to go to a sunny destination for a week. For others it may be as simple as shutting off the news and going to see a movie – or closing the blinds and curling up in front of the fire with a good book.

At times like this, it is necessary to remind ourselves that life is a journey. There are times when the roads are straight and smooth and other times, like the present, when they are winding and treacherous with gaping potholes that threaten to swallow us.

We have to remember that a destination is not the goal for our life journey. Finding pleasure in the things we can along the way, despite the worries and setbacks, is a necessary survival skill. We never really arrive. In the final accounting, it will be how much joy we found along the way that will define how successful our life was.

Please know that getting away now and then is okay. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to curl up with a good book and escape the craziness for a few hours.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Summer’s Glory Revisited

January 20th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, how fortunate to have exquisite reflections of summer sunlight to look back on in the deep freeze of cruel January.

We are into the dead of winter here. Temperatures have plummeted below the freezing mark with bone-chilling wind chills. Venturing outdoors requires bundling up in full winter weather attire and summoning your will to brave the cold.

Confession: I am a winter wimp. It was not always that way. As a child I would charge out into the cold to go tobogganing or play road hockey. I actually liked shoveling snow back then. But somewhere along the way I went soft. Now I hibernate like a grumpy bear in the cold weather.

My antidote for the winter blues is to immerse myself in my nature photos from the previous summer. I use these images to transport myself back to those hot, sunny days and pretend I am living them again.

One of my discoveries this past summer was Hover Flies aka Flower Flies. They are often seen hovering at flowers feeding on nectar and pollen. They are diminutive – less than ¾” in length in most cases – and are quite exquisitely attired (as illustrated in the Transverse-banded Flower Fly at the head of this post) – in combinations of yellow, black and brown.

I was fortunate to capture the Narrow-headed Marsh Fly above perched on a purple flower that provided a lovely backdrop. The delicate veined markings in the gossamer wings capture the sunlight and show to perfection.

The Oblique-banded Pond Fly above is a rather chunky fellow and nicely positioned on a green leaf. It is not often that I get a photo so clear that the feathery hairs that fringe the body show up so distinctly.

The Common Drone Fly shown above survives quite late into the season when other Flower Flies are gone. This one had the fashion sense to perch on an orange leaf and appears to be contemplating its’ own shadow as a I contemplate it!

For today at least, Flower Flies are my metaphor for the glory of summer, its radiant beams of sunlight and the symbiotic relationship that exists among nature’s many creatures. If only I could push the fast-forward button and leap forward into summer’s arms again!

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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The Seasons of Our Lives

January 13th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, how profound that the seasons of the year mirror the seasons of our lives.

Up here in Canada we experience the full progression of the seasons: vibrant spring, extravagant summer, autumn’s colour cavalcade and the lockdown of winter. We are currently in the depths of winter which is my least favourite time of the year. But each of the seasons has its character and mirrors a period of time in our life.

I think of spring as the season of prelude. The earth awakens from its winter slumber. The temperature trends upward and colour gradually returns to the landscape. Spring flowers adorn the woodland glades as shown in the photograph above. We began to spread our wings and prepare ourselves for the promise of summer that lies ahead.

I think of summer as the season of magnitude. Everything feels larger and more emphatic. Nature bursts forth in vibrant growth and colour as the marsh photograph above reflects. All of Mother Nature’s creatures mate and bear their offspring. There is a feeling of abundance and unlimited potential. We open ourselves to the fullness of nature and bask in its glory.

I think of fall as the season of interlude. The leaves turn from verdant green to pastel red and gold, then to muted yellow and brown. Shadows lengthen and the days shorten as captured in the forest scene above. We put on our fall jackets, exult in the cavalcade of colours and begin, albeit reluctantly, to prepare ourselves for the coming of winter.

I think of winter as the season of solitude. We hunker down, pull in our wings and spend more time in quiet and solitary contemplation. But solitude is not nothingness. It is a necessary discipline it itself. The Ring-billed Gull in the photograph above, perched resolutely on a rock at the lake’s edge, symbolizes this time of year when we turn inward and cultivate patience.

The progression of the seasons is the definitive metaphor for life – from childish glee and anticipation, to youthful exuberance and expectation, to middle-age’s slower and more thoughtful pace, to the wisdom and self-reflection of old age.

Prelude, magnitude, interlude and solitude: Each has its gifts and its associated costs. We are all birds in migration, from birth through life to death, grasping the fruits of each season to sustain us and prepare us for the transformations that always and inevitably lie ahead.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Water: The World in a Droplet

January 6th, 2024 by Michael Dyet
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Water does not resist. Water flows. When you put your hand into it, all you feel is a caress…” Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Hmmm, what else could be both the essence of life and the world in a droplet?

We tend to take water for granted. It is always just there to nourish us, literally and figuratively, and to inspire us in so many ways. Did you know: 71% of the earth’s surface is water-covered.

I have always loved to be around water: lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and marshes. I find them soothing to my soul in a way that is difficult to express in words. Margaret Atwood does a much better job of it, in the quotation that is interspersed through this post, than I ever could.

We are particularly blessed here in the Great Lakes region. Did you know: The Great Lakes contain an estimated six quadrillion gallons of water – fully one-fifth of the world’s surface water. We have the luxury of being able to stroll the lake shoreline whenever we please and bask in its lifegiving force.

The Grand River is also just a few miles away. Did you know: The Grand River is the largest river in Ontario stretching over 280 kilometres with 16 tributaries flowing into it. Grand River vistas, like the one above, call out to me to slow down, rest, put aside the cares of life and be enveloped in the grace and wonder.

… Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it…

Water takes on a different persona when it thunders over a drop in the land as depicted in the photo above of Albion Falls in Hamilton. We are also blessed in this area to be only an hour away from the majestic Niagara Falls. Did you know: Niagara Falls ranks fifth in the list of the world’s ten tallest waterfalls. 3,160 tons of water flow over the Horseshoe Falls every second.

Standing in the presence of one of these cataracts, I become aware of the ferocious force of water and how, as Atwood puts it, nothing can stand against it.

… Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water.

At the other end of the spectrum are waterdrops. Each are a wonder of their own when they rest on a leaf as shown in the photograph at the head of this post. Did you know: Waterdrops form because water is sticky. It clumps together because of its cohesive properties.

The water droplets on this plant leaf are little islands of wonder. If I free my mind to roam as it wishes, I can see entire worlds in each drop and imagine the leaf they cling to is a universe of its own.

Water metaphors abound. A drop in the bucket. A sea of trouble. A river of words. But the one that most appeals to me is a flood of emotion. Did you know: Water makes up 66% of the human body and fully 70% of the human brain. So it literally does flood my emotions in every sense of the phrase.

Water: The essence of life and the world in a droplet.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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My New Year’s Anti-Resolutions

December 30th, 2023 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will your glass be half full, half empty or always full in 2024?

I have never really taken to the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. I understand the general concept. The start of a New Year is an appropriate time to take stock and set goals for the year ahead. But too often the goals we set are influenced by how others perceive us and fall by the wayside by January 31.

So this year I am making New Year’s Anti-resolutions as I am confident they will be easier to keep and ultimately better for me. Hence, I resolve not to:

Gesture angrily with one raised finger at rude and aggressive drivers on the road. Instead, I will give them a wide berth and leave them to their discontented lives. I may even smile at them as they glare at me so it is their blood pressure that is raised rather than mine.

Watch more than the first 15 minutes of the evening news. The last 45 minutes are mostly a rehash of the stories from earlier in the week. I do not care to know what four different experts think about the happenings. I am quite capable of drawing my own intelligent conclusions.

Try to make some semblance of sense of Donald Trump and his tirades. He is a walking, talking, scowling bundle of bile, nonsense and overinflated ego. Left alone he will flame out spectacularly and fade into obscurity where he belongs.

Feel compelled to fumble my way, using my full repertoire of four letter words, through the latest and greatest digital technology. I am retired and therefore under no obligation to adopt each new generation of tech. Everything I need to do I already know how to do. I am done with this never-ending learning curve and happy to kiss it goodbye.

Be upset because someone neglected to stoop and scoop after their dog did his business. The steaming pile of s*** is a reflection of who they are and not worth a second thought to me. One day karma will kick in and they will step into that pile of s***, slip and fall on their ass.

Groan and shake my head at each new highwater mark achieved in the salaries of professional athletes. The correlation between what they achieve and what they earn passed any semblance of reason long ago. They can count the zeros in their paycheck if they wish. I have better things to do with my time.

Wait until the other person coming down the trail passes out of sight before I kneel to take a photograph of the tiny bug they did not realize is there. I know I look like an eccentric and a nature geek when I do so. I am fine with that. It makes me happy and brings me joy. I revel in my eccentricity.

By now you are probably asking yourself: Is he a glass half full or glass half empty type of person? My reply is that my metaphorical glass will always be full if I am true to myself, focus my attention on what makes me happy and decline to worry about the little things that are here today and gone tomorrow.

Choose your own path for the year ahead. The rest will take care of itself. Happy New Year!

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel (now out of print) which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. If you’re reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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