The exercise – All the words below have metaphorical meaning in terms of negotiating challenges and moving beyond boundaries, either real or imagined. This exercise is not about coining metaphors but of taking words and using them to open metaphorical doors in your imagination. Pick a word and free write for five minutes.
corner | window | door | gate | mountain | ladder | river | staircase | carpet (think magic) | key
The house was beautiful but it was the gate that fascinated me. Every time I passed the house I looked at the gate and wondered what it was like on the other side.
Often in the summer I would sit in the fields behind the house, taking a book with me but much of the time I would be daydreaming about opening that gate and imagining a magical garden beyond. The house was one of those old symmetric three floor houses with the front door in the middle, up from a few steps and two windows on each side of it. It was the biggest house in the village and the life of the people in it was mysterious to me but for some reason it was the gate that held my interest.
Eventually I left the village to go off to University and after that I got a job in the city. I only went back a few times a year to visit my family. But that gate, it was still an attraction to me and I would still pass by and wonder what hid behind.
On one of my visits, many years after I had moved away, I saw the house was for sale. I went in to see it, not with any intention of buying it but just to see what lie behind the gate, to find out if it was anything like I had imagined. The garden and they house were beautiful, beyond all that I had ever dreamed. I made the decision there and then that I had to live in it.
My routine life was turned upside down because of that gate but the outcome was that moving here led me to find the happiness that had eluded me until then. Now I love sitting in the garden looking at the gate from the inside.