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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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Hunting Muskie Preview: Meet Laurel from “Scars of Humanity”

October 21st, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Scars of Humanity

In this post, we listen in on moments of self-analysis by Laurel, from the story “Scars of Humanity” in “Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage”, for a backdoor sneak preview into the story.

Hmmm, how did I get myself caught up in such a peculiar situation and crash land on the guilty end of a tragedy?

It certainly was not in any way predictable. There were no signs of any such inclination at any earlier time in my life. I was happily married and unequivocally heterosexual, or so I thought. So how do I rationalize having an affair, let alone a lesbian one?

Kate said it was because of the Columbia space shuttle explosion that happened a few days before we met. She believes the sudden realization, that life can be so arbitrary, unearthed latent desire in me.

She may be right on some level. Something like that is not supposed to happen. We expect the Hollywood ending like Apollo 13 – hanging on the edge of the unthinkable and then saved by the bravery and ingenuity of the white knight.

But of course, it was much more complicated than the repercussions of that single event. As much as anything, it was the synchronicity. The stars aligning our lives – mine and Mission Specialist Laurel Blair Salton Clark’s – before her life was snuffed out in that horrible explosion in the sky over Texas.

The more I look at it the more predetermined it seems. How else do you explain the electrical blackout – the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. and Ontario all going dark at the same time – hitting Mississauga just as I was in the elevator after leaving Kate’s apartment?

If I had been one minute earlier or later leaving, I would not have been caught in the elevator with that desperate man. Destiny would have been rewritten. The tragedy would not have happened and I would not be burdened with this terrible guilt.

But can I really dismiss it all as cruel fate? Surely I have to take responsibility in some way. I made a conscious decision to say yes to a temptation I did not understand. I rewrote the rules so I could acquiesce and believe I had no choice.

And then there is that shocking confession that Kate made to me. She shared the darkest, most painful experience of her life, and still I walked out. I should not have let her push me away. If I had had the courage to stay…

If, and if, and if again. Each time, a choice I made to turn away rather than own what I had got myself into. A succession of irrevocable choices. History denied and reimagined, promises carelessly made and recklessly broken, all aligned like telltale constellations in the night sky and all leaving behind their own telltale scars of light.

Scars of humanity, indeed.

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

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. 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 Life on the Clock: No Time to Spare

October 14th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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9-00-black-red-hi

Hmmm, as my life clock ticks relentlessly on, is there time enough to make up for lost time?

The last two months have been a rollercoaster ride for me with several steep uphill climbs. A few weeks ago, I blogged about the unexpected health issue I experienced – major surgery for a twisted colon – and how it forced me to let go of my delusion that I am gifted with special immunity to health concerns.

I have been back in the hospital twice since that time for post-op complications. Fortunately, the issues were resolved without the need for another surgery, although there were some miserable days of nausea and vomiting (sorry, TMI) I had to endure. However, my surgeon has told me that if the problem occurs again, another surgical procedure will be needed.

I am fortunate to have been working with a dedicated naturopath for the past year. She has put me on a special diet – bone broth, pureed veggie soups and a fruit/veggie shake – for a few weeks to minimize risk while my colon continues to heal. It is a rather bland diet which takes some of the pleasure out of eating.

Aside from the obvious strain of illness, marathon emergency room encounters and hospital stays, riding out this rough patch has felt like a period of enforced deprivation.

I have missed out on the back end of summer and the front end of autumn. As a nature lover, these are days I treasure. Ordinarily, I would be spending as much leisure time as possible during these months roaming meadows and woodland paths tracking the winged wonders – butterflies, dragonflies and birds in their fall migration – I so love.

Yes, it is only a matter of 8 to 10 weeks of my life – a small fraction of my total days on this earth. However, at the age of 59, I am increasingly aware of how precious each of those days is to my life. I cannot foresee what the future may hold. Counting on tomorrow, next month or next year is a gamble with fate.

I have no choice but to take it slow under the current circumstances to ensure I fully recover. But a simmering impatience lurks just below the surface, reminding me that my life clock keeps ticking towards an end date that is unknown.

Have I made the most of the 59 years I have lived to date? Would I have done anything differently if I had had a crystal ball way back when? These are rhetorical questions that only spin me in circles. I need to find a frame of reference.

If I adopt the clock as a metaphor for life and do the resulting math – average lifespan for a Canadian male is 79, I am 59 – my life clock sits at 9:00. This leaves three, precious metaphorical hours left for me to optimize.

I find myself returning to a conclusion I arrived at in a post several years ago: There is time enough, but none to spare.

~ My latest work now available: Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. If you are reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Hunting Muskie Countdown: Guest Blogger Benjamin’s Ghost

September 24th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hunting Muskie

Benjamin, a background character in the title story in Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage, steps in today as guest blogger for Metaphors of Life Journal.

Hmmm, is it not a bit strange for a ghost to be the guest writer for Michael’s blog?

After all, I am already dead by the time the title story Hunting Muskie opens. But he says my viewpoint is unique because I know the history of the story’s main characters – my father Norman and older brother Tom – better than anyone else.

I guess I should start with Norman. Dad was a geologist – sorry, is a geologist. Dad always refuses to be referred to in the past tense in any context which should tell you a lot about him. He can be stubborn as the day is long – even more so since Mom died.

Dad was never much interested in organized religion. But there are a couple of things that he has made into his own religion.

The first one is the cottage at Rice Lake – or rather, Rice Lake itself and his cottage there. Dad has scrutinized everything there is to read about Rice Lake and the islands in it. He knows the history in minute detail going back a century or more. He schooled Tom and I on that history every time we were at the cottage as a family.

His other religion is fishing. Dad has devoted himself to it with a passion that borders on obsession. God help you if you go fishing with him and do not take it seriously. There is a perfect way to cast your line. The proper lures for every type of fish and the exact right way to work them. Even the one and only proper technique for setting the hook.

What can I say about my brother Tom? He and I were as different as night and day. Tom said I was more like Dad than I cared to admit. That might have been true. But Tom was much more what Dad expected in a son. He has a profession that met Dad’s approval. I always worked in construction and, no matter how well it paid, it did not quality as a profession to Dad.

Don’t get me wrong. I know Dad loves me. But he will never forgive for the foolhardy way I died and the fact that hit happened at his treasured cottage.

Now you know the back story to Hunting Muskie. The story itself takes place when Dad invites Tom to the cottage for a week of fishing. Actually, it was more of a summons than an invitation. It is obvious to Tom that Dad has something weighty on his mind. But you cannot make Dad talk about something until he is good and ready to do so.

Oh yes, there is a Muskie, the fish of ten thousand casts, to be caught. And some history that makes the battle extra special. But trust me, you do not have to be a fisherman to appreciate what that pivotal moment comes to mean.

Michael reminds me to tell you that Hunting Muskie is the title story in his short story collection. Do not get the mistaken impression that the whole book is about fishing. Apparently, there is juicy metaphor involved which probably will not surprise you!

~ Coming in October 2017: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel – “ double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. If you are reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

 

 

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Hunting Muskie Countdown: Guest Blogger “Hurricane Ike”

September 16th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hunting Muskie

The hero of Hurricane Ike, one of the stories in Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage, steps in today as guest blogger for Metaphors of Life Journal.

Hmmm, I am a bit uncomfortable doing this guest blogger thing. Pretty far outside my comfort zone.

Begin at the beginning, I guess. Can’t go wrong with that. My name is Ike, although most folks call me Hurricane Ike now. I’m not allowed to tell you why. Spoiler, I think is what they call it. You have to read the story about me to find out why.

I never imagined I would have a story written about me. I mostly just try to mind my own business and not be noticed. But that’s not easy to do when you are a full arms length taller than most people and built like a brick shithouse, as my father used to say

I expected to live my life alone, being the freak of nature that I am, and was okay with that. Yeah, loneliness got into my bones now and then. But we all have our crosses to bear.

Everything changed that day at the Texas Rice Festival. You need to understand, I don’t usually go to public events. Don’t know for certain why I decided to. You could say it was fate, as good an explanation as any. Anyway, that’s where I met Gibra and my life turned in a new direction.

Did I tell you where I hail from? A little town called High Island on the Texas coast. Haven’t ever been more than a few hundred miles from here. Never saw any reason to go anyplace else, although I might have changed my mind if I knew I would have to survive a hurricane.

Before you go picturing an actual island, let me set you straight. This area is mostly what they call coastal prairie and coastal marsh. You can go for miles without seeing a single tree.

High Island got its name because it sits on a salt dome. Now, I don’t know much about geography, but basically being on a salt dome means two things. First, we’re at a higher elevation most places on the coast. Something like forty feet higher which I guess kind of makes us a target.

Second, there is stuff in the soil that makes trees grow. We have woodlots here. Smith Oak Woods, for one. If it weren’t for the big Live Oaks that grow there, the story would be a god-awful sad one instead of a legend.

What more can I tell you without giving away too much? I love lighthouses. There are about a dozen of them still standing on the Texas coast. Think I would have made a good lighthouse keeper if that sort of job still existed. It was lighthouses that brought Gibra and I together. I doubt she would have given me a second look otherwise.

Other than that, well, there’s the Texas Ranger at the door, the picnic table that saved our lives, the bottlenose dolphin, the pelican, the abandoned rowboat, and of course, the gator I had to wrestle. They all figured into the story.

That’s pretty much all I’m allowed to tell you. I think you’ll like the story of Hurricane Ike. It is quite the epic tale, if I do say so myself.

~Coming in October 2017: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. 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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Hunting Muskie Countdown: Confessions of a Creation Addict

September 9th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hunting Muskie

Hmmm, as I countdown to the release of Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage, it seems like the right time to pull back the veil on the mysteries of the creative process.

Several decades ago, when I was a student, Margaret Atwood did a reading from her most recent work at York University. She also kindly consented to be interviewed by the university student newspaper.

I imagine the student who interviewed her was very intimidated. He no doubt agonized over his interview preparation to come up with what he deemed to be safe questions. But he hit an off-key note when he asked: What made you decide to become a writer? Atwood’s response was classic: A big thumb came down out of the sky, pointed at me and said YOU.

I believe her sarcastic response was meant to convey two messages. 1) I am very tired of answering that question! 2) No one decides to become a writer – or any type or artist, for that matter. At some point, you realize that it is what you were born to do and that you cannot be psychologically, emotionally or spiritually healthy unless you answer the call.

This is certainly true for me. From a young age, I fell in love with books. I recall regularly scouring the shelves of the Hagersville library which was appropriately housed in a musty old building in the middle of town. I would probably have spent the night there if permitted.

But a love of books does not always translate into the compulsion to be a writer. So what is the tipping point? Quite honestly, I believe it is encoded into my DNA. Writing is how I process what happens to me and around me. It is how I understand and interact with the world at large.

All forms of art are an act of audacious creation – an attempt to invent a new reality and live inside it for a period of time. When the act of creation is complete, the artist bequeaths the work as a gift to the world and moves on to the next act of creation.

Confession: I am a creation addict. I crave that rarefied state of mind where I can step outside the bounds of reality and wrap myself in a world of my own making. I perpetually exist with one foot in the real world and the other in the limitless world of my imagination.

So, you well may ask, are you one of those pie in the sky dreamers? Yes and no. I conjure worlds of my own making but I draw from real life as I conjure. I live inside my own head a great deal. But I always search for touchpoints with reality.

The sixteen stories in Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage were written over a period of eight years. Each one was a simultaneous process of looking inward and looking outward. So what connects the two?

If you follow this blog regularly, you can probably guess the answer. The metaphors of life, that I am programmed at the DNA level to perceive, are the connecting threads that empower me to coexist in parallel worlds. Yes, it is a bit disorienting. But such is the destiny of those of us who answer the call to be a writer.

In upcoming posts, I will let some of the characters from Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage emerge to speak on my behalf.

~ Coming in October 2017: 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 which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. 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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Knockdown Fastballs: The Myth of Invincibility Deconstructed

September 2nd, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, it seems I was long overdue for a reality check concerning my superhero fantasy.

We are gifted in our youth with the belief that we are invincible – possessed of a preternatural ability to dodge the numerous knockdown fastballs that life throws at us as an inevitable consequence of living. This belief is, of course, an illusion. The natural laws of life eventually catch up with us and claim their pound of flesh.

(Knockdown fastball: In the sport of baseball, a pitcher will occasionally throw directly at a batter in retaliation for an aggressive act by a player on the opposing team.)

I should have learned this lesson when my chronic back issues become too persistent and severe to disregard. I did relent and commit to weekly chiropractic treatments. But this is my one thing, I told myself. In all other respects, I remain untouchable.

Then I began to experience digestive system issues which advanced to more serious episodes. Reluctantly, I conceded I needed help and sought out medical guidance. I found a good naturopath, identified food sensitivities and, with some unwelcome motivations, cleaned up my indulgent eating habits.

Okay, that is it, I told myself. A couple of vulnerabilities shored up. All will be clear from here. Alas, I was still bargaining with fate when the big one hit. I will spare you the play-by-play other than to say it involved excruciating abdominal pain that landed me in the hospital by ambulance.

Diagnosis: Volvulus, aka twisted colon requiring surgery. Little did I know, another knockdown fastball was already heading my way. The day before surgery a coughing spell caused me to aspirate resulting in aspiration phenomena. My surgery was delayed by two days in ICU and another four days back in the surgery ward to recover.

I finally had the 2+ hour surgery a week and a half after entering the hospital. Another week in the hospital and now home recuperating for a few weeks.

The struggles of my hospital stay were mitigated somewhat by great nurses and the unwavering support of family and friends. But honestly, I would rather have been almost anywhere else. Close to the three weeks confined to a hospital bed and the halls of the surgery ward tested my patience to its limits.

So, with due humility, I confess: I am not invincible or immune. Nor am I a superhero with special powers of overnight recovery. Where the world of metaphor meets the real feet-on-the-ground world, knockdown fastballs have my number and I cannot always evade them. It is a sobering reality.

On the plus side, I learned many valuable lessons from this unpleasant experience. I have emerged on the other side a bit wiser and with a more realistic outlook on life.

~Coming in October 2017: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. 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: An Embarrassment of Riches in a Wildflower Patch

August 4th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, how often is the reward of perseverance a double blessing?

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

I have been on vacation this past week. If you know me, you will know this means I have been hiking through meadows and along sunny woodland paths in search of the winged jewels of nature. Braving the hot, humid weather and passing thunderstorms to add species to my summer list.

As much as I love this pastime, it has become progressively more challenging to pursue in the 15 years I have been at it. Regrettably, there have been noticeably fewer of these delightful creatures to see as the years pass. Global warming and the extreme weather it breeds, and other implications of man’s environmental footprint, have taken their toll.

Earlier this week, I was butting up against that reality as I scoured one of my favourite conservation areas in the hope of adding one of the elusive Hairstreak butterflies to my years’ species list. I had hiked 45 minutes down a usually productive trail with minimal results.

I turned off the main trail to check out an occasionally productive scrub area. Off to my left a patch of pinkish-purple wildflowers was in full bloom. I stopped in my tracks in awe (yes, we nature geeks do that on occasion) as I realized that the wildflower patch was a buzz of activity.

Bees, four species of butterflies and half a dozen Hummingbird Clearwing moths (like the one in the photo at the top of this post) had congregated there – drawn from near and far to feast on the wildflowers. I lingered there for 15 minutes to enjoy this unexpected but welcome spectacle.

It occurs to me now that this garden party of insects was representative – a random act of metaphor in my world – of the way life ebbs and flows. Days, weeks and even months pass during which we trudge along taking care of business and meeting our many obligations.

Then, quite without warning, we are gifted with an embarrassment of riches as a reward for our discipline and perseverance. The drudgery of life seems a little less imposing.

Striped Hairstreak

Striped Hairstreak

And yes, I did turn up this Striped Hairstreak butterfly on the return hike to the nature centre. So I was doubly blessed on this occasion when patience paid its dividend.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. 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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Beware: Big Brother Walmart May Be Watching

July 29th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, should I wear dark glasses the next time I venture into my local Walmart?

I am delving into one of my favourite subjects again: invasive technology. I will try not to turn this into a rant. But I cannot make any guarantees.

Walmart is reported to be developing facial recognition technology to detected frustrated shoppers. The software monitors facial expressions and movements to identify a customer’s level of dissatisfaction. If the system detects a disgruntled customer, it signals employees who – in theory at least – can arrive on the scene to remedy the problem.

You may argue that Walmart deserves a tip of the hat for being concerned enough about customer satisfaction to invest in technology to measure it. But I might counter with: Is that in fact their primary motive? More on that question in a moment.

I am not pleased to know that I might be on camera when I am in the Walmart checkout line. I have been known to mumble to myself when I am frustrated or displeased. Knowing that my idiosyncrasies will be scrutinized and recorded is unsettling.

What if I become famous? The Walmart recording could end up being the featured video on YouTube! It will not do my celebrity reputation any good for the masses to see me muttering and mumbling while I wait to pay for Fruit of the Loom underwear and a discount bottle of magnesium tablets for my moody digestive system.

And what if there is a particularly attractive young woman in the line in front of me? Will the system detect my state of arousal and set off alarm bells like a slot machine lighting up when someone hits the jackpot? My public profile will take a serious hit if that hits the airwaves.

(Yes, these concerns are predicated on the possibility of me becoming famous. I do realize that is low on the probability scale. Infamous, maybe.)

Further down in the article reporting this news, I read that Walmart might also use this technology to analyze trends in shoppers’ behaviour over time. My facial expressions, aka “biometric data”, can be linked to transaction data to draw conclusions.

The pessimist in me jumps to the conclusion that detecting and responding to customer dissatisfaction is just a smoke screen to cover the real purpose of the software – figuring out ways to entice me to buy more regardless of whether I am satisfied or not.

There is also, as always with this kind of technology, the privacy issue. Should Walmart be permitted to videotape me without my knowledge or consent? Or, for that matter, to store knowledge about me that may or may not be accurate.

I admit that this post has turned into a mild rant. I did warn you. But the Big Brother metaphor always comes to mind in these snooping technology scenarios. I for one have way too many personality quirks to be comfortable being featured on Walmart’s version of candid camera

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm at its internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. If you are reading this post on another social networking site, come back regularly to my page for postings once a week.

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Conjuring New Worlds from the Artifacts of Life Gone By

July 15th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, if I cannot find a time travel portal to revisit the carefree days of childhood, I can at least immortalize them for all time on the printed page.

Chestnuts

Growing old frequently lands you in a state where recalling the happy-go-lucky days of childhood has an irresistible appeal. I recently had one of those dominos tumbling down memory lane days.

Our brain is most fertile when we are in a reflective state of mind. A thought triggers a memory which in turn unearths another recollection which throws open a door to experiences decades old. Experiences that were unremarkable when they occurred are animated in the lens of memory.

Walk with me, if you will, through this stream of consciousness.

Collecting fallen chestnuts from century-old Chestnut Trees on Main Street, polishing them to a high sheen, boring holes through them with a screwdriver and stringing them together to make a chestnut necklace whose only real value is in the making of it.

Crossing the railroad tracks to Brook Pond and wading in with bare feet. Catching tadpoles and bringing them home in a pail of water hoping they will transform into frogs while you sleep.

Kicking through knee-high grass in the vacant corner lot to pick wild strawberries eating them as you go. Or catching elusive grasshoppers and putting them in a glass jar with air holes punched in the lid just to admire them for a few hours.

Pickup games of street hockey or baseball or three on three football where the final score matters less than time spent with friends and making that one spectacular play.

Riding your bicycle – with banana seat, high handlebars and wobbly rear wheel missing half a dozen spokes – around the neighbourhood for no other reason than the summer wind on your face and because it feels like freedom.

Climbing the neighbour’s tree every fall to pick pears, fill a six quart basket on a rope, lower it down to awaiting hands below, pull up an empty basket and start over again until the tree is bare or sunlight is failing.

Life was majestically simple and oh so sweet back then. I would give a king’s ransom to wind back the clock and relive those unpretentious days over and over again. Alas, it cannot be.

But what I can do is shape each of these memories into a metaphor and weave each of those metaphors into a story. For that is what writers do. Conjure new worlds from the artifacts of life gone by and give them immortality on the page.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to “Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm” at its’ internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the “Subscribe to this Blog: How To” instructions page in the right sidebar. 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: A Butterfly Adrift on a Kettle Lake

July 8th, 2017 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, a butterfly adrift on the glassy surface of a kettle lake. What should we make of this curious scene?

European Skipper

European Skipper

It does not take a biologist to know that butterflies do not belong in the water. How this European Skipper can to be in this predicament I cannot say. It seems unlikely it intentionally landed on the water – and even less likely that it would be able to free itself by launching into flight. The only certainty is that it was doomed to be a meal for an opportunistic frog.

But you have to concede that the unlikely occurrence made for a striking photograph. The skipper, only recently emerged from caterpillar stage, displayed perfect colours and markings – the butter-yellow wings with their black trim and white edging perfectly fanned for visual effect.

The tiny body mass of the skipper was not enough to cause it to sink. But it was enough to create elegant, concentric rings spreading outward with geometric precision over the glassy surface of the kettle lake. I could not resist capturing the scene.

If you follow my blog regularly, you know that this is what I refer to as a random act of metaphor. I could go in several different directions interpreting it. But this time I am going to leave it to you, the reader, to decide.

A butter-yellow butterfly adrift on the glassy surface of a kettle lake, a random act of metaphor for…

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills: An Internet-enhanced Novel” double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com or the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.

~ Subscribe to Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm, at its internet home www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2. Instructions for subscribing are provided in the Subscribe to this Blog: How To instructions page in the right sidebar. 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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