Friday, February 08, 2013

Restful Metaphor

So I've been obsessing about work the last few days. It's been hard on hubby-Eric, who has to listen to me rant. Last night he wanted a break, and I wanted a break, but I couldn't stop obsessing.

"Ok," said Eric. "Just put all that in a box and stop thinking about it."

So I visualized a box and imagined shoving the big story of the week into it. Bits wouldn't go in.

"Eric," I wailed, "the box won't stay shut. Some of the stuff is trying to get out. It's like zombie arms!"

"I hope you have a flamethrower ready."

"Uh, no I don't..." I said.

"Sure you do, there's one on the wall," he said. I visualized it. Neither of us had moved an inch, just talked.

"The box is wooden, if I burn it, some of the zombie bits will escape," I said. "I need a hammer to pound the zombie arms back into the box. Can I borrow a hammer?"

"Uh, sure."

I imagined a hammer and started pounding the imaginary zombie arms, a pleasant thought. Eric and I started to talk about other subjects. But the zombie arms (ie, the news story) managed to get out again.

"I need to seal the box," I said. "Can I have some nails?"

Bemused, Eric agreed and I visualized some wicked sharp wooden stakes. I told Eric what I was visualizing, and said, "These will do." I pounded the box closed. A single zombie arm hung limply out the side. Eric and I talked about other subjects again, but the story started leaking into my head again.

"I think I need to close the door," I said. "The box is bouncing around and making a lot of noise. Hang on." I imagined closing the box into its own closet, then used the hammer to pound in some more wicked stakes to seal the door. "Oops," I said. "I think I left the flamethrower in there."

"Don't worry," said Eric, getting into the metaphor. "There's a whole wall of them over there, and if you run out, you can always order more from Acme and they'll drop-ship them in an instant."

"Ah, yes," I said. "There's a fuel truck outside, too."

Oddly enough, it worked. For the rest of the night, the story was gone from my active thoughts. Sure, it wasn't far back in my head, and if I needed to think about it I could. But for the first time in a week I was able to stop obsessing and get some rest. It was much-needed.

Now... back to work to deal with the latest twist in the story. Monday is going to be very interesting, but at least maybe I'll be able to metaphor the story away over the weekend.

(For the curious, here's the story, sort of: Monday afternoon's bit published Tuesday and Tuesday's bit, published Wednesday... the next chapter will be in today's paper, I think. I don't want to say more, read the paper for information. My opinion on the subject is something that only myself and poor Eric should ever hear.)


Garrett said...


Tossed it over to Tumblr, hope that's ok.