Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Literally Literary

I have a constitutional aversion to literalness.

In my teens, I discovered  the awesome power and wisdom of scriptures. I could only do that when I rejected the reading ways of those who interpret them literally. The same vertical growth happened, for me, as I began to understand words as allusion to the wordless.

This is why I would not become a lawyer, as my mother thought I was suited to be, but a writer, as my father encouraged.

The tools of storytellers are metaphors, similes, and language using words as building blocks to send the listeners minds out of their earthly sounds and onto places both wider, higher and deeper all at once.

But lest the above high falutin’ speechy paragraph makes me seem as one who thinkest herself above the rest, let me assure you I have cracks in my anti-literalism.
I was thinking the other day how literally I act on what should be a metaphor.

Touch wood”— as in may-it-not-befall-us: I literally look for anything that could pass for wood and touch it.

Stop and smell the roses”— as in take-a-moment-to-appreciate-the-moment: I try to never take a walk without stopping and smelling an actual rose.

Piece of cake”—as in easy: you betcha!


Karen Jones Gowen said...

Or good thing you didn't become an engineer either!

Mirka Breen said...


Vijaya said...

Mirka, that's great. I think a lot of kids are literal, hence the charm of Amelia Bedelia. I'm so glad you are not a lawyer and so happy your father encouraged you. Care to share any stories in a future blog post about this?

Mirka Breen said...

You're giving me some ideas for future posts... Precious!

Evelyn said...

I, too, am glad you became a writer instead of a lawyer. Otherwise, I would never have had the joy of your friendship.

Mirka Breen said...

Unless, by some unlikely happenstance, I would have had the privilege of representing you in court ;D