"The human spirit yearns for goodness as the eye longs for beauty." ~ Felix Adler
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Buckets, Rainbow Sparkles, and Metaphors
The other day I mentioned, out of nowhere, to my five-year-old child that I loved her. I just happened to be thinking of it, and it seemed like a nice thing to say out loud. She came up to me and said, "Mama, you're filling my bucket!" Turns out her class at school has read a book about the invisible buckets we all carry, which are filled up with rainbow sparkles when people are kind, or hug us, or show us love. And they are tipped over when people are hurtful, or hit, or push us down (this is preschool, after all, although I'm afraid the same exact lesson could be taught in the adult world). I was delighted, of course, that she felt I was "filling her bucket," and had a little moment of gratitude that my own bucket is filled so frequently by my children (and only occasionally tipped out by them). But it got me thinking more deeply about the image of the bucket, filled with rainbow sparkles, and how valuable having images like that can be--not just for children, but for adults too. My daughter confirmed the next day that the bucket was invisible, and I don't think she believes it exists in any real sense, but it's very clear that she understands it existing, truly, in a metaphorical sense. Images and metaphors have been deeply important in my life--often when I think about that big concept of inherent worth, I find myself imagining it as a glow, or a spark, an aura that I can see around people's bodies and selves if I try hard enough. I'm not suggesting there's something there, but that I want to engage in the practice of imagining and seeing something there...that the visual, metaphorical "something" is important to me as I try to live the bigger concept. How about for you? Are there images or metaphors that help you to understand concepts, or help you to live in a way that makes you proud or happy?