I know it's a random thing to miss, but today I miss coconut. Coconut is sort of quirky. I think that you either hate it or like it. I was thinking today about how lovely it would be to try out new coconut recipes, perhaps curry or some sort of hot cereal. Even pancakes or in conjunction with mexican food.
Could coconut become the new cayenne pepper in my life?
Not a chance.
I've been thinking a lot about metaphor. I'm taking this really cool class independent study with my advisor. She has given me a pretty free reign as far as what we are talking about, as long as it fits in the scope of the course. It's called "Writing and Rhetoric."
This week, we talked about metaphors and how they undergird our everyday thoughts and communications. For example, we talked about how arguments use fighting as a metaphor. If I was suddenly dropped into a country that used dancing as a metaphor for arguing, I wouldn't know what to say. I couldn't "take a shot" at my "opponent" or anything. Wow.
I started to apply the concept of metaphor to my writing. The definition I found in the book my advisor gave me to read (Metaphors We Live By in case anyone is interested) said that experience is crucial to metaphor. Not only do they rely on experiences that the reader (or viewer or whatever) has had, but they create an experience in themselves.
I love this.
As a writer, it's my goal to use everyday things to speak to people about much bigger things. You could say that metaphor is my life work. And I didn't even know it. For example: I wrote a story about a coffee shop that discussed, among other things, how people order drinks based on their moods. I used drinks as a metaphor for personality and emotion. Trust me, it was cool. Even deeper than that, there were a lot of coffee metaphors that I used to describe constancy and the importance of commitment.
Today, in Senior Seminar, we had a guest artist come and speak about his work. What does he work with? Experiential Metaphor. Surprise, surprise. He uses installations to help people to use all of their senses. His art is based on a concept which then takes on physical characteristics. Like me, he desires to give someone an experience to help them to understand an abstract concept.
There is a reason that this post is called "Coconut" remember how I talked about my coffee shop story? In it, my main character makes a drink with coconut syrup in it. In the creative writing class I was in last semester, several people took my story to a coffee shop and asked them to make the drink. I like to think that there are a few of them who still order it and think that coconut makes it a little quirky. Just maybe, they go back to the experience they had at my coffee shop, and smile...