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Life Is: A Group Writing Project

Do you have a favourite metaphor for life? The metaphors we chose to live by, to tell each other and to tell ourselves can make a difference to our experience of life.

One of my favourite metaphors is life as a dance.

The one that runs most often through my head is life as a rollercoaster: you just gotta ride it.

One of the most surprising metaphors I came across a few years ago is the one that I’ve probably learned the most from. It’s this:

Bagel With Cream Cheese

Bagel With Cream Cheese

Life is a bagel

Why? Well, because:

  • It’s best served warm and fresh
  • It can be hard to swallow at times
  • You can change the toppings endlessly
  • It’s got a hole in the middle (and that’s what makes it a bagel)

Oh, plus it’s delicious with cream cheese :-)

Robert Hruzek is asking us to share our metaphors for life as this month’s group writing project at the Middle Zone.

The project gave me an idea for another metaphor.

Maybe life is a group writing project. Because:

  • We’re sharing the same common experience - but every experience is different
  • There are no right (or wrong) answers
  • Each individual contribution is valid and valuable
  • We have the freedom to tell it, to narrate it, our way
  • We learn from each others’ stories
  • The tales told will contain a mixture of the tragic, the comic, the nonsensical and the wise
  • The whole story is bigger than the sum of the parts

Maybe that’s one of the reasons we like taking part in group writing projects :-)

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  1. Scott McIntyre says:

    Unfortuantely, I’m not able to join in with the Group Project yet…

    but I love bagels- with cream cheese and, if I’m feeling suitably decadent, I’ll add a slice of the best smoked Scottish salmon! :-)

  2. Shamelle @ says:

    Hm.. you have given me something to ponder on this morning.

    by the way, I love the new blog layout.


    Shamelle @ TheEnhanceLife.coms last blog post..Career: 62 Tips To Make Your Job Terrific (Lessons Learned)

  3. Robert Hruzek says:

    Very clever, Joanna!

    You know, I think you have something here: I think life really IS a group project!

    Although I’m still thinking about a bagel (sound of munching).

    Robert Hruzeks last blog post..Life is a Game of Dodge Ball

  4. Brad Shorr says:

    Joanna, you have an amazing mind to see life in a bagel with cream cheese - wonderful!

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Bits and Pieces of Word Sell News

  5. --Deb says:

    Mmm … bagels …

  6. Jim Murdoch says:

    I’m sorry but I go with Erma Bombeck:

    If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?:

    Jim Murdochs last blog post..Poetry and art (part one)

  7. SpaceAgeSage says:

    “Many people can talk the talk. Some people really know how to walk the walk. But it is a rare few who get to dance the dance.”

    May your metaphors and life keep dancing!

  8. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Scott, we’re just going to have to keep tempting you in to these blogging waters… I’m sure you must be finding it harder and harder to resist…

    Shamelle, thank you :-) And yes, metaphors are great food for thought (excuse the pun, and making everyone feel hungry!)

    Robert, I find bagels irresistible too. Maybe I should have added that to the list of reasons. And to think I’d never even heard of them until I was in my 20s!

    Brad, I was trying to keep it simple being a bit blogged out at the moment. That’s another thing going for the life as bagels metaphor - it’s simple but sustaining…

    -Deb, I know, making me feel peckish too!

    Jim, I hadn’t heard that one before - very good

    SpaceAgeSage - the dance is a favourite metaphor of mine - and it fits so beautifully with the idea of the invitation…


  9. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    I love it! Life is a bagel! I might also add they’re very good without any toppings, just the bagel, especially after a long run. This is a great and memorable metaphor, and I’m so glad you shared it. Life is a bagel! Really, really good! :-)

  10. Ohm - Simp.lis.tic Zen says:

    Life is worth living! That would be my metaphor, regardless of the challenges we face and the steps we take in a backward motion.

    Love your new design too. It’s about time you moved to WP. Welcome to the 21 st Century. :-)

    Ohm - Simp.lis.tic Zens last blog post..Do We Really Need Labels?

  11. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    I love that “Life is a bagle” metaphor. Sometimes when eating a bagle, parts of it (usually those with cream on it) fall on the floor. Then it’s important not to give up eating bagles and just have another try!

  12. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Karen, you’re right, a fresh, toasted bagel can be most delicious with toppings or no. I’ll have to take your word on it being good after a run!

    Ohm Simplistic Zen - is that how I should address you? - indeed. I like the notion of taking steps in a backward motion. We’re still facing forwards even if we appear to be going backwards. All depends how you look at things.

    Ulla - it’s hard not to cry over wasted cream cheese on a bagel… but there’s nothing for it but to keep on trying (or scrape it off the floor…?)


  13. Bo says:

    What a great job on the new blog, Joanna! Welcome to WP. The metaphor thing has me thinking - I head to the garden most mornings. Thinking a garden might be fun to play in. Hmmm!

    Bos last blog post..Warning: The End is in Sight

  14. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Thanks Bo. I think your garden would be most blissful to play in - in fact I often feel as though I do just by following your blog!


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