Metaphor Game

I played a metaphor game with a writing class, once-upon-a-time, taken from a text I was using by an author named Rohrback. I can’t remember what the author might have had in mind, but what we did was to play with the metaphoric possibilities of a simple concept. While my students were writing, here’s what I did with the phrase “My mind is . . .”

Examine a Cliche

  • My mind is a sieve – – yes, I had a brain aneurysm a few years ago and it feels like some of the facts it used to hold have leaked out.

Explore some Originals

  • My mind is a humming-bird — moving quickly but with little significant purpose:  food, food, food, food . . .
  •  My mind is a tangle of weeds – – nothing in there is worth keeping, it just goes on thriving without any help or care or guidance and with no apparent good or beauty.
  •  My mind is written in invisible ink – – the kind where you have to see it under a special light or brushed over with a specific powder.  I know there is all kinds of stuff there, but what comes out surprises me.  I can’t count on it.  Sometimes I find I’m wandering in my ideas, or I come up with long-forgotten stuff, or I have a bright hole where a piece of information used to be and the penny is gone.  So does this imply that somebody else holds the powder or controls the light.  I sure don’t have control!  Is it God?  Is it the person who knows and loves me best — but he is dead.  And who knows where the magic powder is kept?

Negate the metaphor

  • My mind is not a filing cabinet – – no matter where I tell it to put information, I can’t count on it being there when I come back.

Transfer the metaphor to someone else

  • His mind digests steel pens for breakfast and lives on coffee the rest of the day.
  •  His mind is an old sandpit — it was wonderful when he was a child, but it has collected vermin ever since.  Now it wears signs: “Beware of filth.”  “May contain carcinogens.”