Metaphors can help you

We sit in a bistro, sharing a large pot of tea, my friend and I. We are both over sixty, and our talk turns to growing older. I describe my indignation on receiving routine health updates from the Nurse. Such as :

Nurse:  You now need pills for high blood pressure.

Me: What me ? But I have a healthy lifestyle…

Nurse : Your chloresterol levels are a bit high, you need to take statins.

Me: How come ? I’m a vegetarian….

And so on. Then my friend says a wise thing. Her view is that after sixty, you can think of your body as an old car, the mileage has taken its toll, the mechanics, the systems are wearing out, the pipes get blocked. Your body is a different model than your twenty year old self. You wouldn’t expect an old car to perform similarly to a 2016 model. Old cars can have charm and quirkiness. Best to accept this, let go of your indignation.


Hearing this metaphor, I feel a shift happening there and then in my perception . It’s a relief. I’m an old car, a vintage car, what kind of car am I ? I remember an old friend of my father’s called Marcelle. She had a certain style, and a Riley car from the 1950’s. As a treat I had rides in it, I loved its sweeping wheel arches and long bonnet, split windscreen. I will adopt that car as my metaphor, I’ll look after it, and understand when the windscreen wipers don’t work. Or when the engine splutters, and needs to cool down for ten minutes .I want to keep the car going and accept how it is.

Everyday Life and Rites of Passage

A bee is busy, buzzing close to my right ear. It visits the tiny white flowers in the hanging basket that I am standing right next to. I am part of a group of people waiting our turn to go into the Crematorium chapel.

The bee’s daily life feels so down to earth, so daily so comfortable. It is unaware that we are in a Crematorium garden. We the people, are gathered to celebrate someone’s life, and thinking about our own mortality.