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Michael's Metaphors of Life Journal

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Hairstreaks: The Reward of Channeling Patience

November 9th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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A power of Butterfly must be – / The Aptitude to fly / Meadows of Majesty concedes / And easy Sweeps of Sky – ~ Emily Dickinson

Hmmm, where better to learn patience than in pursuit of tiny gems of Mother Nature?

We are into the bleak days of November which is the month I dislike the most. The cool but picturesque days of autumn are still fresh in my memory. But opening the door vanquishes those memories in a hurry. And so, once again I turn to my archive of winged wonder photos to lift my sagging spirits.

Instinctively I migrate to my favourite butterfly species: Hairstreaks. These nickel-sized beauties, many of which are uncommon, are named after the threadlike tails on the hindwing. They fly rapidly, flitting from side to side or in circles, making them difficult to track and exceptionally difficult to photograph.

Banded Hairstreaks, the most common Hairstreak in my vicinity, frequent sunny glades. They dart out and furiously flutter around before returning to their perch. The specimen below perched on the fine filaments of white flower showing off its markings to full effect.

When I passing willows around marshes and streams, I am on the lookout for Acadian Hairstreaks which display more distinct orange spotbands than the Banded. The specimen below was hiding out upside-down on the underside of a waxy green leaf.


Striped Hairstreaks closely resemble their sister Bandeds and require careful examination to identify. Forest edges and thickets are their habitat of choice. I was very fortunate to capture the specimen below clearly as perched on a leaf that resembled an outstretched hand.


Hickory Hairstreaks are a tough find and classified as rare in their normal habitat of clearings and edges around deciduous woods. The specimen below was a bit making its markings less distinct as it nestled in the protective harbour of a curled leaf.

Gray Hairstreaks are the most widespread hairstreak in North America, but not found in my normal stomping grounds. I had to venture a few hours west to southwestern Ontario find the specimen below clinging to a delicate yellow wildflower beside a marsh.


I have saved the best for last. My field guide classifies Coral Hairstreaks as common in my area. But my experience is different. I have only set eyes on two of these beauties which favour brushy places, thickets and overgrown fields. The lovely specimen below, with a striking orange spotband, was perched low in the grass in a field in one of my favourite haunts.


Butterfly metaphors abound. But since my treasured Hairstreaks are at best occasional and chance finds, let us nominate them today as metaphors for patience. It is a trait I do not usually possess, but sometimes am able to channel with delightful rewards.

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 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. 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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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled: Moments Etched in Memory

November 2nd, 2019 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

Hmmm, do the moments that remain etched in memory change us forever?

Much of life passes with little fanfare. The day-to-day events are absorbed into history as nothing more than footnotes. But then there are the moments that took our breath away. Often a  few words or a single image cement them in our mind.

November 22, 1963: The Grassy Knoll.

Immortalized as the small green space on the northwest side of Dealey Plaza in Texas where

John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald Also famous among conspiracy theorists as the purported side of a second shooter.

I was only 5 on that day. But it is etched in my memory as the day I learned that life is fragile.

July 16, 1969: That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

These are the famous words of Apollo 11 astronaut Neal Armstrong as he became the first person to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin also walked on the moon that day, but Armstrong got all the publicity as the first.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned that the universe is more than what I see.

September 28, 1972: Henderson has scored for Canada!

With 34 seconds remaining in game eight of the famous Summit Series between hockey superpowers Canada and the Soviet Union, Paul Henderson scored the goal that clinched the series for Canada in an epic comeback.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned how deep national pride can go.

January 28, 1986: Obviously a major malfunction.

The understatement of all time, emanating from Kennedy Space Center, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members. A joint in its right solid rocket booster failed at liftoff caused by the failure of O-ring seals.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned that the price that can accompany human infallibility.

September 11, 2001: Freedom has been attacked this morning by a faceless coward. And freedom will be defended.

President George Bush’s vow after terrorists high jacked four U.S. passenger carriers – two crashing into the World Trade Center in New York, one into the Pentagon and the fourth into  a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers thwarted the hijackers.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned the true meaning of evil.

August 14, 2003: The most famous software bug in history.

The day a software bug, in the alarm system at First Energy in Akron, Ohio, kicked off the great Northwest Blackout which knocked out power throughout Ontario and parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. At the time, it was the second most widespread blackout in history.

Etched in my memory as the day I learned the all too real pitfalls that can lurk in lines of computer code.

These moments are each metaphors for the reality that life can change forever in a heartbeat. When I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, and my days are winding down, these days will remain etched in my memory as moments that took my breath away.

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 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. 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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Slips of the Mind: The Fickle Fiend of Aging

October 26th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, if it slips your mind, is it gone forever or just stuck in the gaps of memory?

If you are middle-aged or older, you know that memory becomes a fickle fiend as the years go by. Sometimes it performs flawlessly and other times it fails miserably.

I remind myself over and over again during the day: I have to remember to stop at the grocery store and pick up milk, toilet paper and bananas. And still, I get home, open the fridge door and think: Crap! I forgot!

I bump into someone I have not seen in a while. I cover my tracks with casual conversation while I think: His name. What is his name? Dan? Stan? Sam?

And most frustrating of all: I walk from one room to the next, stop in mid-step and think: What the hell was I coming in here for?

Fortunately, it does not fall all on the negative side of the ledger.

At this time of year, it is dark when I leave for work. I turn off the garage light before I get into my car. In the dark, my hand reaches around the steering wheel and inserts the key into the ignition hole perfectly. My brain, amazingly, has memorized the exact sequence of muscular movements to perform that function.

I sit in the conference room at work as a presentation is about to begin. I hear a voice behind me. My brain instantly recognizes it as Joe Smith, even though I only meet up with him a few times a year.

I walk down the hall and see the profile of someone from behind. My brain connects the dots – gender, hair colour and length, height, posture, stride – George Anderson.

Science tells us that there are three types of memory each with its own characteristics.

Short-term memory: Information stored for about one minute with a capacity limited to about 7 items. (In my case, some days I am down to 3 items at best.)

Long-term memory: This memory, events from short term memory encoded for storage, in theory has unlimited content and duration capacity for things like personal memories, facts and figures – and apparently, the profile of a person from behind. But, alas, not names.

Skill memory: This memory stores automatic learned memories like tying a shoe, riding a bike, playing an instrument – and apparently, inserting a key into the ignition in the dark.

I am a mixed metaphor where memory is concerned. My skill memory seems to be a steel trap. My long term memory is as sharp as an exacto knife at times and a dull blade at others. My short term memory is…is… you know, that thing with holes in it… the thing you use to drain the water off of pasta…

Oh, you fickle fiend! I just know you are laughing at me now.

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 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. 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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October 21: Why You Should Step Up and Cast Your Vote

October 19th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, will you be one of the abstainers in the Canadian federal election next Monday?

I took advantage of the advance polls last weekend to vote, as did 4.7 million electors. But there are many who will leave their ballots blank. Voter turnout in the 2015 Canadian federal election was 68.5%. The good news is that this was the highest turnout since 1993. The bad news is that this means nearly one-third of all eligible voters did not cast a vote.

If you are considering taking a pass on October 21st, allow me to put forward a few reasons to reconsider that decision.

If you do not vote, you unofficially lose the right to complain about the performance of the leader of the party forming the government. You do not get to complain if you did not take part in the process. What will you talk about around the water cooler at work for the next four years?

If more people have voted in the last Ontario provincial election (42% opted out), perhaps we would not be saddled with four years of Doug “Slash and Burn” Ford and his personal crusade to reinvent the province in his own distorted vision. (Apologies if you are a Doug Ford fan. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that point.)

It may seem that your one vote does not matter in the final analysis. But apathy is contagious. If you do not vote, arguably we all lose.

If more people have voted in the last U.S. election (45% opted out), perhaps our newsfeeds would not be clogged with the latest antics, tirades and misquotes of Donald Trump. (Apologies if you are a Donald Trump fan. We’ll have to strenuously agree to disagree on that point.)

You have endured two months of mudslinging, backstabbing and below-the-belt insults between the party leaders – not to mention the inflammatory television and radio ads. Monday is your chance to show how much class you have by putting aside your disenchantment and placing an informed vote.

All of the above are valid reasons for showing up at the polls on Monday. But the most compelling reason is one that no one, in all good faith, can dispute.

Not so very long ago, courageous men fought – and countless numbers gave their lives – on bloodstained battlefields overseas to protect the freedom you enjoy. You owe them your gratitude. Exercising your right to vote is how you show it.

So I ask you to not throw in the towel on Monday. You have a right and a duty to participate in the process – and it is in your best interest to do so. Abstaining serves no purpose.

Step up and have your say. Mark your X on the ballot.

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 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 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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V2X Technology: Can Openers, Hackers and Trapdoors

October 5th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, is it really safe to pry open the lid of V2X technology?

I had the opportunity this week to hear a keynote speaker presentation on Vehicle to Everything technology – aka C-V2X technology. It was an eye-opening hour. I will try to stick to the facts and not make this another axe-to-grind, technology Grinch post. But no guarantees.

First, a definition is in order. V2X is a wireless form of communication in which information is passed from a vehicle to any entity that could affect the vehicle and vice versa. It is the emerging technology that will eventually enable autonomous vehicles.

This means that devices in the vehicle have the ability communicate with other vehicles, with traffic light signals, with personal digital devices – just about any digital device you can imagine.

In the Smart Cities of the future, cellular V2X enabled autonomous vehicles will guide themselves around city streets without need for human intervention. It may be a decade or more before this becomes a reality. But make no mistake: It will happen.

I have railed against this coming revolution in previous posts. But the speaker I heard brought a new perspective on the subject. He put forward the view that the push for autonomous vehicles is all about safety and crash avoidance – removing the element of human error that is the cause of most automobile accidents.

I am not sure I buy into that viewpoint. But let us accept the premise for now. In theory, eliminating human error could dramatically reduce the occurrence of automobile accidents. But what about the human error factor that applies in the development of the technology?

The speaker also quoted an interesting and disconcerting statistic. The average vehicle on the road today has 100 million lines and counting of computer code. No doubt that figure will increase exponentially for autonomous vehicles.

Let’s put that second figure in numbers for dramatic impact: 100,000,000 lines of computer code. I am anything but a technology expert. But it seems to me this opens up endless possibilities of human error in the coding process. Can even the most skilled programmer effectively and exhaustively debug that much code? It may be a rhetorical question.

The other disturbing issue in the equation is cyber security. The speaker, to give him credit, showed a diagram of a car indicating all the potential points of attack for hackers. I did not have time to count them all, but there had to be at least 20.

Is the threat of hacking really an issue for V2X technology? Consider the fact that a hacker used an internet-connected fish tank – with sensors connected to a PC that regulated temperature, food and cleanliness – to hack into a casino’s computer system. No, this is not an urban legend. It really happened.

Human error hidden in 100,000,000 + lines of computer code. 20+ points of attack in an automobile for hackers to target. I am not convinced that equation computes to safety.

I have heard it said that technology is a can opener. It opens up wonderful possibilities, but also daunting liabilities. I am more than a little concerned about the trapdoors that V2X technology is opening.

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 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. 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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Huck Fryman: Incorrigible

September 28th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, are we destined to be who we are regardless of where that might lead us?

I explored this question in my story Incorrigible – one of 16 stories in my short story collection Hunting Muskie: Rites of Passage. Huck remains my favourite character from the stories. I am uncommonly fond of him and wish I could have given him a less tragic ending. But he would not let me stray from the incorrigible character he was born to be.

What follows is an excerpt from the story as it reaches its defining moment.

The door to the shed creaked open. Huck crossed his arms and hunkered down in his chair.

“I swear, every time I come here this damn aisle gets narrower. Do you ever sell any of these, Dad?”

“You looking to buy?”

Another wave of pain shot up Huck’s leg all the way from the ankle to the hip this time. He closed his eyes to fight it off.

“That leg gets worse every time I see you. I don’t suppose you’d let me take you to the doctor?”

“I’ve made it through 80 years without seeing a doctor. I’m not about to start now.”

“You’re 85, Dad. You don’t even know how old you are.”

“You come all the way out here to tell me my memory is bad? I could have saved you the trouble.”

“Jack Willis called me. He said you pointed a shotgun at him. You can’t do stuff like that, Dad.”

“Why the hell not? It’s my place.”

“You just can’t. There are laws and they apply to you just like everyone else.”

Kevin’s eyes swept the shed again.

“This has to end, Dad. Enough is enough.”

“My place. My rules.”

“No, I’m not taking that crap anymore. I have your power of attorney, Dad. Don’t make me use it.”

“Power what?”

“Power of attorney. It means I can make your decisions for you.”

“The hell you can.”

“What do I have to do to get through to you? You can’t be on your own anymore.”

Huck took another long puff on his cigar and fixed his stare on the wall behind Kevin.

“For Christ’s sake, Dad, put that cigar out. One spark and this whole place will go up.”

“Ain’t happened yet. I expect no one will much care if it does.”

“You’re not leaving me any choice. I’ll do what I have to do. I’m the only one of your sons who still cares enough to do it.”

Huck shifted his gaze to the ceiling. Kevin shook his head and started for the door.

“Go in and see your mother before you go. She’ll blame me if you don’t.”

Kevin stopped in his tracks. Sadness ebbed from his eyes as he turned to face Huck again.

“Mom’s gone, Dad. She died a year ago. You know that. You didn’t say a word for a month after the funeral. She’s gone, Dad.”

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 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. 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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Forgotten and Discarded: The Heartbreaking Plight of Orphaned Passwords

September 20th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, have you ever wondered what happens to the passwords you forget?

Unseen casualties of our technology powered society often go unnoticed. One such disenfranchised group is the large and growing repository of forgotten and discarded passwords. I had the opportunity to interview their spokesperson.

Michael

Tell me about the plight of you and your fellow passwords.

Password ABC123

You can’t imagine what it is like to live, if you can call it that, in the great void. Forgotten or cast aside for no fault of our own, we exist in technology purgatory. (Sob) Condemned for all time to drift aimlessly in the ether of nothingness.

Michael

That sounds terrible. Exactly how many of you are there?

Password ABC123

No one knows. Millions, maybe hundreds of millions.

Michael

I’m astounded. Surely there can’t be that many forgotten passwords?

Password ABC123

Only some of us are forgotten. The rest are orphaned by the requirement to change your password every 90 days. It has increased our numbers astronomically. We’re unquantifiable.

Michael

What is your life like?

Password ABC123

We wander the technological wilderness like the Israelites. Crying out for our God to save us.

Michael

Your God?

Password ABC123

Grandpa Bill. You know him as Bill Gates. Somehow, we don’t know how, we angered him and he has forsaken us. (Sob)

Michael

How do you pass the time?

Password ABC123

In restless waiting. Now and then we play the Guess Your Name game. We try to guess each other’s sequence of numbers and letters. There was a time, when passwords were simpler, that there was a chance to guess right once and a while. But now, with all the symbols added to the mix, it’s hopeless. Hopeless, I say!

Michael

Do any of you ever get rescued?

Password ABC123

Once in a blue moon. One of you humans chooses a password that already exists from an expired program and one of us reborn. Lucky bastards! But most of them end up back here again sooner or later. It’s a viscous cycle.

Michael

I will try to help you by telling your story.

Password ABC123

Thank you. Grandpa Bill, we’re sorry. So very sorry for whatever we did to anger you. We just want to be useful again. Is that so much to ask?

Forgotten and discarded passwords are the Black Swan of the technology era – a problem of massive proportions that can only get worse. Grandpa Bill, are you listening?

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 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 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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Throwing My Hat in the Ring for the Federal Election

September 14th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, are you ready for a fresh, new face in Canadian politics?

It is official now. We will be going to the polls here in Canada on October 21st to decide who will be representing us for the next four years. Election signs are popping up on front lawns. The rhetoric from the party leaders is already into overdrive.

Once again I find myself struggling to decide who I dislike the least so I can cast my ballot. Alas, it seems I dislike all the options equally. There seems to be no choice for me but to form my own party, declare myself its leader and enter the race.

I will be representing the all-new and long overdue Metaphor Party.

You will want to know where the Metaphor Party falls on the political spectrum. Does it lean to the left or the right? This will be dictated by the direction that the wind blows. When the wind blows from the east, we will lean to the left. When it blows from the west, we will lean to the right. If it blows from the north of the south, those will be wild card days.

Flexibility will be the hallmark of our economic policy. We are in favour of paying down the deficit and lowering taxes. We are opposed to cost cutting and to cost increases. The purse strings need to be tied tightly, but loose enough for easy access.

It is our belief that financial management is all about the pluses and the minuses and how you play one against the other. Don’t worry if that seems counterintuitive. It is simply a matter of moving the money around strategically and never leaving it in one place for too long.

Our foreign policy is unequivocally foreign, but carefully balanced from a domestic perspective. We believe Canada must be a player in all foreign affairs, skillfully playing both ends against the middle without getting caught in the crossfire or firing across anyone’s bow.

Environmental issues are close to our heart without being top of mind. We will judiciously fund environmental programs, when the occasion calls for it, on a cost-sharing basis to be negotiated when appropriate with impartial organizations to be named at a later date.

We believe that governments must keep their hands off private sector affairs and let the chips fall where they may – unless the chips fall in a way or in a place that is not in the public interest, in which case we will unilaterally intervene in a fair and arbitrary fashion.

Transparency is a fundamental principle of our approach to government. All our decisions will be made in full public view. Specific details of these decisions, of course, will from time to time need to remain confidential including any conflicts of interest that may or may not occur.

If we make a mistake, we will own up to it as soon as we identify a suitable scapegoat.

In the final analysis, we believe that governing a great nation like Canada is about walking a fine line without falling off the tightrope. Not falling off the tightrope means never stretching it too tight in the first place. What better party to do that than the Metaphor Party?

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 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. 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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When I Grow Old and Wear the Bottom of My Trousers Rolled – The Butterfly Perspective

September 8th, 2019 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

Hmmm, when I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, will I have lived as fully as the butterflies of summer?

As I grow older, I bemoan the increasing limitations, aches and pains of the aging process. It frustrates me that I cannot do all the things I could when I was younger nor do them as vigorously or as frequently. Life seems too short for all I want to accomplish.

But occasionally I am reminded of how fortunate I am. My life is measured in years and decades. The winged wonders I pursue have life cycles measured in merely weeks.

Case in point, the Eastern Comma butterfly in the photos set out above. This specimen, shown with wings closed and open, is newly emerged. Its colours are distinct, elegant and sharply contrasting.

When I spot a fresh specimen like this one, I am delighted by, and rather envious of, its’ youthful perfection. I tend to overlook that it has already passed through the caterpillar stage, shedding its’ skin up to five times as it grows, and the chrysalis stage before emerging as the lovely creature I behold.

It will only be granted a few weeks in which to enjoy life as a winged wonder. During that time frame, its beauty will fade and its wings become tattered. Old age, as depicted in the specimen below, will come all too quickly.

Butterflies are a favoured metaphor for transformation. But they are also a metaphor for the life cycle to which are creatures are subject. Whether measured in weeks or decades, life is more a question of quality than quantity.

When I grow old and wear the bottom of my trousers rolled, which is not too far off, I hope I will be to say I enjoyed the seasons I was given as much as the Eastern Comma did.

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 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. 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 Flamboyant Maple Tree with a Rebel Spirit

September 4th, 2019 by Michael Dyet
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Hmmm, can we choose our destiny regardless of our beginnings?

There is a large Maple tree that I pass and take notice of each day, on my way home from work, on an otherwise nondescript side street a couple of blocks from my home. Under normal circumstances, it would not warrant special consideration given that Maples are a common choice for urban yards.

But this is no ordinary Maple. It captures my attention every day because the leaves on one side are pistachio green and on the other half tomato red. It has been that way all summer so it has nothing to do with fall colours – although it will be interesting to see what transpires when the leaves begin to turn.

No doubt there is some rationale, scientific explanation that I could uncover with some Google research. However, I choose not to know the official cause.

I like to think of this Maple as a conscious entity that has elected to go its own way. It had no choice in what species it would be or where it was to be planted. And yet, it has broken free of expectations and become an oddity that proudly proclaims its individuality.

A flamboyant Maple tree with a rebel spirit – a random act of metaphor to declare that we can be whatever and whoever we choose to be regardless of how humble, or prescriptive, our beginnings might have been.

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 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. 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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