Extended metaphors make me itch. This means I could never write straight nonfiction, because the extended metaphor is the nonfictionist’s crack. Just look at early parenting books, and you’ll break out in red hot hives, too. Not since those two-in-the-morning if-you-were-a-shrub-what-type-would-you-be college discussions have I heard human beings so frequently compared to plant life. Babies, apparently, can be roses, sunflowers, even soybeans, based on a few cringingly flimsy criteria. And these metaphors do not last just a paragraph, but flourish and build for four hundred pages, twining from chapter to chapter, mixing freely with wholly unrelated metaphors, breeding at will. I could go on, but I see myself slipping from simple metaphor to extended, and I cannot let that happen, if only because of those hives.
That said, let me make just one (moderately) quick and almost metaphor-free comparison to something I haven’t even brought up yet. During my high school years I had a room of my own. ‘Had’ is an inadequate verb, really. I lived in my room, loved it, haunted it, possessed it. I made it mine. I misspent many math classes rearranging furniture in my mind, re-appropriating graph paper so I could sketch out a visual representation, then hurrying home after school to shove around my bed and night stand and bookshelves according to my not-to-scale scribbles. Then re-taping all my posters. Then rearranging my knickknacks.
Then doing it all again three weeks later.
Until my room had been subjected to intense interior redecoration, I could not do a single homework assignment. It was urgent and glaring, and never more necessary than when I had a big project due. I believe I told myself it helped me think.
I’ve outgrown a lot of my younger tendencies. I feel no need to draw comparisons between humans and horticulture, for example, and I never use graph paper. Graduation took care of most of the rest, including all the homework I once pushed heavy furniture around to avoid. But one thing prevailed: the urge to redecorate. Hence my new website. And this blog entry. Nothing like a good template switch-up to inspire a new post.
Well. You didn’t really think I could do a massive site redesign and not write about it, did you?