Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: metaphor

Falling Off the Wagon

A road to an ease-filled life.
Hungarian Countryside.
Copyright Diane Ludeking 2010


I have fallen off the writing wagon.

No permanent injuries have been sustained but some bruising is showing itself today as I look at my sparse spreadsheet for daily word counts this month.

I realized this week that my running life is a metaphor for my writer’s life (or vice versa).  I began running again a few weeks ago.  I thought that since I had run three miles easily before my last layup (I most likely quit or forget to run for a few weeks), I could pick up right where I left off.  Day three of returning to the run, my foot said, no way!  I simply cannot take it easy to get back into it.  It’s 150% or nothing.

I have hauled myself back onto the sugar eating wagon.

I am an emotional eater so self sabotage has been the cheer most recently.  I can’t run so I will trash my body.  Sounds like frustration disguised as a temper tantrum at thirty-six.  I gain weight as my book gets heavy from abandonment.

I write at 150% or nothing.  I am willing to write poorly, as long as my writing isn’t poor.  Blah!  I love to write accurately and metaphorically.  But I need to love to write poorly.  I love to write.

I begin a walking/hiking health-style today.  I vow to take it easy, to be gentle, even when I want to run (I am Peter Pan, after all, when I take to the woods).  I love to run!  But I need to love my body more by not abusing it.

I aim to bring my eating life and my writing life into alignment by beginning again.  Mindfully.

So instead of strolling down Sabotage Road, kicking the dust up with my lazy gait, looking for the muse-colored wildflowers, I will embrace every moment given to me in an effort to get back on the writing highway, paved with words and metaphors.

How has your creative life been suffering lately?  How are you keeping it alive?  How is your sanity these days?


What I Need to Know in Life

The Now-Abandoned Art's Orchard

My paternal grandfather was a man with great passions for the earth.  With a seemingly fearless, entrepreneurial spirit he began an apple orchard.  He sought out the perfect, south-facing hill for his vision and purchased it.  He planted trees, nurtured them, learned about them, much how I imagined him as a father with a young and growing family at that time.  A very introverted, thoughtful man, he learned how to graft trees, press apples into cider and how to market his products through relationships.

What he needed to know about life, he learned from an apple orchard.

I remember listening to his stories and how they always seemed to come back to the land, his orchard, his family.  I reflect on his memory, his words, his ability to make meaning with what he knew best.  A thought was a seed.  An idea was a sprout.  The fruits of his labor were apples and children.  He understood the world around him better when he could compare it to growing apples.

I find myself doing the same with what I know intimately.  A lifetime with horses as mirrors and teachers has led me to making meaning from what they have taught me:  work as a unit, always fight for your life in the presence of danger, never take things personally, be congruent in body, mind and spirit.  Understanding their nature has given me tools for processing life.

What I need to know about life, I learned from horses.

Disclaimer:  While there are as many ways to process life as there are people on the planet, it is interesting to apply the lessons we learn from our dog, cat, plant, career, spiritual practices, etc.  An orchard was a significant metaphor for how my grandfather lived his life, but I’m sure there were others.  Horses are the most significant metaphor for my life, but also not the only one.

How can your area of expertise help you make meaning?  Where is the metaphor, the mirror, in what you know most intimately?