Meditating on Life as a Metaphor

Life as metaphor, that’s what this week’s challenge from Charli Mills is about. At its heart. I think.  She puts it thus (it is in two parts):

  1. August 5, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write the common premise: “I ran over a deer (or other animal) and have decided to nurse it back to health.”
  2. But before you write, daydream. Do something out of your normal routine for 10 minutes. Go outside, sit and stare into space. Rest in a meditative yoga pose. Lock yourself in the bathroom. Mow the lawn, or do the dishes. Let your mind wander to the story and daydream before you write it.

In the comments, state if this exercise had a profound effect or not.

I went walking on Monday with Dog and friends, somewhere in the Sussex countryside. It was beautiful, if sweaty and sticky.

2015-08-10 13.33.19

deliberately planted or not they were beautiful

I dropped behind at one point to take in these wild flowers. There were vetch and ox-eyed daisy, and tall mauve spikes that I had not to my knowledge seen before. The corn was a mellow toast-ripe for the harvester, the woods so many shades of green that they outdid any thesaurus and as I watched Dog bound ahead to check on my companions, now disappearing into a thicket of thistles or so it seemed, all sound leached away, apart from a mewling overhead as a pair of buzzards spun past. Being outdoors, my own people-free universe prickles me with a variety of senses: a joy in the unfettered interconnectedness of natural world; a sadness from the hinted at feeling that I am, inevitably, alone; a dusty tiredness that soon enough this richness will be rot; a nervy watchfulness exemplified by the buzzards that soon enough I too will be dispersed into some other horizon.

2015-08-10 12.19.06

paths may seem straight but often that is an illusion.

My mind doesn’t so much as wander when left to its own devices, when stimulus is passive not forced; rather it sparks like a badly fitted electrical connection, splinters of half considered ideas and memories jostling for priority, radiating out it all directions, one thought soon overtaken by another and then another.

I was happy, in truth to move on, to rejoin friends. I’m not comfortable being too alone with just me for company. I know the punchlines, see the glib jokes for what they are and bore easily. My mind redacts the ridiculous, suppresses the superstitious when with others and I’m more comfortable.

And as I wandered back I had in mind Charli’s admonition. It also made it easy to see where my flash piece would take me. Well, Mary and Rupert are still there… Their saga – it feels now like both their stories – can be found here.

Offering a hand 

Penny pointed to what seemed like a heap of leaves.

Gradually Mary’s eyes saw what her daughter saw. A small bird, sat still but not lifeless.

‘It’s fallen. Can we help it?’

Mary checked; the nest was empty. ‘I think it’s been abandoned. Best..’

‘No! We must do something.’

Summers peeled away and she was ten again; her father picked up the blackbird they hit with their car. She sat with it, nursing it. It was hopeless but her father had understood she had to try.

‘Of course.’ She thought of her missing twin; had someone picked her up?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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24 Responses to Meditating on Life as a Metaphor

  1. jan says:

    Lovely pictures and story!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Charli Mills says:

    This particular flash connects so many of the story’s complexities — Mary forgiving enough to allow an understanding memory of her father to lead her to act with her own daughter; the hope for the twin; the empty nest. Powerful one!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Uncommon Deer Tales « Carrot Ranch Communications

  4. Norah says:

    I agree with both Jan and Charli: beautiful pictures and story. I love the way your shared the meditative aspect of your walk. Unlike you, I enjoy my time alone to think and muse. Your rambles brought you to a good place in Mary’s story. It nice to see her feel compassion and empathy, both for Penny and the tiny bird. Sounds like she may be working towards some for herself, and her father as well. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sherri says:

    Ahh…lovely photos and thoughts Geoff. And Lord knows, you know how I love a good ramble in the woods. I too like to be alone…to a point. Not if it starts to get dark and a bit too Blair Witchy for my thinking. But nothing like it to fire up the imagination and remember days of old, those times when my dear old crook dad loved to show me bird’s nests and tell of mysterious foxes. Your lovely flash reminded me of this…thank you…and I love how you brought in Mary’s thoughts for her twin…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Annecdotist says:

    Lovely photos, words and flash – interesting that the prompt/instruction to reflect left you feeling more lonely, maybe put pressure on something that usually has no box to tick. I like the flashback in the flash, packs a lot in and makes it particularly moving.
    As to the purple flowers, I think they might be phacelia, which I grow as a green manure – can be quite prickly on the fingers? Not that I’m suggesting anything, but the seeds are easy to collect and germinate simply by scattering on the bed ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Thanks they are phacelia. I think they were planted for seeds, from how they had been set out. Maybe feed, maybe for wild flower seed sales. And thanks for the lovely comments on the flash. Thinking about it I think it was probably the forced nature of the meditation that was the issue. I’m much happier when it just happens than prescribing a time for it

      Like

  7. julespaige says:

    I like how you incorporated the prompt into your continuing story.
    We all have to learn the lesson of loss of life and compassion.

    Thanks for your visit… I’m a tad behind, returning from a week away. ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sacha Black says:

    Will you ever write Mary’s story into something substantial? She’s such a deep character for how few words she’s been given. Seems a waste not to tell her whole story….

    liking being with people is such an extroverted trait – if u know about Myers Briggs then it screams of and E from that! Do you not even like being on your own to recuperate?

    Liked by 1 person

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