We live in a story, which is probably why stories are such an integral part of our culture. It’s not just our culture, though, there is a global aspect to living in The Story.
Regardless of ethnicity, economic status or geography, people tell stories when they gather. Even the vulgarityof supermarket tabloids confirms this. Those publications sell because they present the illusion that they have a story _ usually the so-called “inside” story _ about someone or something which you absolutely must care about.
In short, stories make sense of our lives.
So then the power of metaphor, symbols and similes is to be expected, for they are powerful as storytelling devices. More than that, metaphor in particular is a way to understand the deeper philosophical and spiritual aspects of our lives.
Metaphors help us face who we are. They also help us face what it means to live in a fallen world. The books, films and songs which underscore this truth are too numerous to count.
Don Quixote is not about literal windmills. The Old Man and The Sea is not about fishing, really. The Lord of the Rings is not about an actual ring and a realm known as Middle Earth. But sometimes it takes a setting such as Middle Earth to elevate the Mythic Reality which is the fabric of our own lives.
With that in mind, it was a metaphor which greeted me when i arrived back east from Colorado. In my travels i had traded the brilliant sunshine, low humidity and expansive rest of the Rockies for the fast-paced rushing of traffic; moisture-laden air; and overwhelmingly grey skies of the East Coast.
It took a day, but then i saw it _ the metaphor. There are parts in the story where the journey becomes more difficult and various tests arise. Whether it be suffering, spiritual attack or any number of other circumstances, at times the skies are ominously grey and you feel trapped by the very air you breathe.
The weather conditions i walked into mirrored the spiritual reality i face still upon my return: The Enemy of my soul, who plagues my journey, is pressing in on me.
It must be the WarriorPoet, not fear, which seizes this moment.