Am back from Colorado, but not before doing a walking meditation in the labyrinth next to Colorado College's chapel. I'd never walked a labyrinth before, so I was grateful for a sign with instructions that told me, among other things, to "beware of metaphors."
I stepped into the maze wondering what's so bad about metaphors and why I should beware them. I mean, I'm a writer; an experience without a metaphor is a foggy day with sunglasses. Still, I wanted to be the Best Labyrinth Walker Ever, so I refrained from symbology.
But doing anything without metaphors is harder than a seventh grade boy reading the Victoria's Secret catalogue. So the experience became a struggle: This labyrinth is like life, you can't see where it's going--no, it's not--wait a sec, that's a simile--are similes okay?. What's more, the whole maze thing made me anxious, like "How much longer am I going to be trapped in this thing?" as if I couldn't, at any moment, just walk out.
Finally I emerged, spent, as well as full of metaphors (it's a puzzle, it's a journey, it's the universe). I glanced at the sign again.
That's right. It said, "Be AWARE of metaphors."