Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reflection: Our Motions

Sitting on an airplane, I passed a book of writing prompts to a friend. He selected the prompt, "Describe how you move," but instead of describing his physical movement through space, he wrote an extended metaphor. He declared himself a squiggle. Yes, I had caught glimpses of that squiggly line, but I thought instead of a zig zag; it moves at a good clip until it smacks -- Thunk! Ouch! -- into an obstacle, and then richochets at a wide angle.

Physically, I have a tendency to zig zag, or swerve, from side to side on the sidewalk. I have tried to watch that habit -- and minimize it -- ever since it was brought to my attention in college. (Evidently people found it difficult to walk alongside me without being rammed off the sidewalk.) Metaphorically, though, I am the straightest line you'll ever meet. When I come to a wall, I may do one of several things, including sit down in front of it and cry. After a time, the tears start to dry, but I still sit by that wall, contemplating all possible motions.