“My husband is a tiger.”  Do we live in some-such metaphor as we attempt our conversations? I’m speaking of an apprehending process – extending ourselves by means of a metaphoric “tentacle” – through which we think and act as we communicate with other people.

They flavor our attempts at communication in our understandings and communications. Metaphors such as, “Our company shelters us like a big oak tree,” or “I’m trying to give you a gift,” or “I see no future with you,” may be hints at the deep symbols with which we identify and empathize.

What I think is how I convey: the truths I can tell and hear, the life changes I can experience, the confessions, forgivenesses, leaps and stomps I can acknowledge. Upon our phrasings we try-out our experiences, extend a translation toward the strange and the stranger, and affirm familiar knowledge.

Living inside someone’s unfamiliar metaphor can be fantastic, terrifying, exotic, and morally strange. How may we meet one another across our many metaphoric diversities? Perhaps only by the kind of attention in our conversations that Simone Weil characterized as “absurd love in the public realm.”


I offer you three seemingly-simple interrelated ways of touching and taking up one another:

Opening up myself to you and me – clarifying who I am and the life-world I am forming for myself;

Opening my life to receive who you are: you, your life-world, what things are important to you;

Discovering who we are together – the result of our different selves, the “us” that results from me being me and you being you.

Discovery and Opening seems to be helped through some discipline, some restraint:

That I not-need you to fit into my plan;

That I not-need you to press down your ambitions, your sense of justice;

           That I not-need know what the outcome of our communion will be.