As I write this it is the afternoon of April 30th, the last day of National Poetry Writing Month, and that means for the past thirty days, just like the pollen count in Atlanta, the simile count has been unusually high. Similes abound and I mean to put at least one or two to good use...
Flow like a duck?
Does that make any sense? Well let's poke this duck a little and find out.
We all know ducks skim smoothly on the surface of the water, which does sounds all nice and flowing, but we also know they actually have to paddle hard under the surface when they want to get anywhere. So is that flow, or just projecting the appearance of flow? I think when we say 'flow' many of us think of a state of serene focus - smooth activity aligned with our concentration and energy. The athletic flow is the image that comes to mind. And I think that impression of what flow looks likes makes it tempting to mimic this supposed appearance of flow. It is a form of acting like we have our act together even when we sometimes feel more like we're paddling like crazy behind the scenes.
The athlete in a state of flow moves with innate grace and efficiency, but we're not all athletes. The athletic ballet is an attractive narrative, but is that athletic flow the same in appearance as a writer's flow, or an accountant's flow, or a coach's flow? The concept might be the same, but the appearance, probably not. Think of the context in which you find yourself most focused, most free of distraction, when your concentration is laser-intense and the work just gets done and there is joy in performing the task. What does that look like? A lot of times for me that flow looks like a big hairy guy hunched over a desk. It's not pretty. There's no ballet. But there is magic that happens there.
So when does a duck flow? When it is joyfully immersed in its ducky business, getting its duckful deeds done. Yes, it might look like a glide on the water sometimes, but it might also be a goofy waddling kind of flow, one quacking with concentration.
So what I'm trying to say is your flow, my flow, an athlete or a duck's flow may not look the same, but find the flow that comes from within. Open up to it and don't worry if it appears graceful or graceless. Simply own it. And quack with joy when you do.
Radiate like a lemon?
I will leave this simile for you to play with. It is juicy. Send me an email and let me know what you find. And remember, be a beacon! Keep on shining!
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