A few years ago, I was being interviewed for an employment opportunity and the hiring interviewer asked, “If you were an animal, what would that animal be, and why would you choose to be that animal?” Of course, there were all sorts of human resource professionals bantering on the merits of asking such a question. You might gain a closer insight into a person’s true personality traits. Theory had it that you could gain insight into the propensity for teamwork and preview of comfortable working styles and relationships. Too many times, the question was asked just to take up space in an interview. The interviewer may have thought that it was a unique question to ask, but didn’t really have a clue how to analyze the answers that were given. But I digress….
It is fun sometimes to step into a metaphorical world to look at yourself and those around you. In the realm of metaphors, you can examine people as: animals, machines, fruits, food, elements, or natural phenomenon. When I reach into the realm of metaphor, I see myself and others around me in terms of natural phenomenon.
My Dad was seen as a magnificent mountain like Mt. Everest or Mt. McKinley. My Mom was a beautiful mist that you see on the waters of a lake or river at sunrise or dusk. My wife is always the Sun in my life because her smile and happiness warm and light up my countenance like nothing else. When my beautiful sun is blocked and dim or dark, I struggle with my own happiness and security. My two sons are strong young growing trees. Every day they become stronger, but they are still pliant and need loving protection. My siblings are waves in a lake that ripple into the shoreline of my life sometimes gently and other times crashing in like waves in the ocean. Finally, the friends in my life have been either flowers or weeds. Some friends are helpful and others can be destructive.
That leaves me to picture myself. How do I see myself metaphorically? Without a doubt, I have seen myself over the years as a river. Not just any river, but a ragged rolling river. I don’t see myself as too big or too small. I do feel within myself the vibrancy, movement, and journey all rivers take if not damned up. I’ve best summed up my view in a song/poem that I wrote.
Ragged Rollin’ River
I’ve rolled to California. Back through Tennessee.
Out to ol’ Virginia, and then back to Missouri.
I’ve felt Centuries old – and younger than a baby.
Never fit any mold – not yesterday, tomorrow, or today.
Listen Honey Baby – Listen to Me…
I’m a ragged rollin’ river – rollin’ to …. The Sea.
Sometimes my water’s so clear. You can see insecurity and fear.
Pain, heartaches, and tears – an opened one-way mirror.
Other times my tempest rages. I bust through all the cages
Cut through all the hazes, determine Eternity or phases.
Everything has its own destiny. Tested and tried by the Trinity.
There ain’t no constant serenity. The Devil knows all vicinities.
Honey, you can do what you please. Make a commitment or tease.
Victory’s not given its seized – I need a current not a breeze.
Death dams drum in the distance. They want to stifle my resistance.
Castrate all my consistence. Relegate me to subsistence.
The journey is all there is for me. Rebelling against Death to be
Happy, Content, and Free… Come flow with me to the sea….
Thanks for following along on my metaphorical journey. Take the trip yourself one of these days and see what you find. How will you see the people around you? More importantly, how will you see yourself?
I truly believe that America’s beautiful rivers and streams are national treasures. If you are lucky enough to live near one of our treasures you will know what I am talking about. If not, then it will benefit to do some research about American Rivers. A great place to search for facts and issues is AmericanRivers.org.
Many of our rivers today are in grave danger. Watch this video.
Don’t be passive or uncaring. Get INVOLVED!!!