up ‘n’ down
tell me how does it feel
to be so high
looking down here
is it lonely?
-norah jones, carnival town
i’ve been travelling for so long time that i can’t imagine myself going back to work.
but my vacation still continues and one of the things i learned from meditation is that we should focus on this moment. all other moments are actually fictional, the past is just memory and the future is just imagination. and moreover it’s all constructed in the language.
there is a book “metaphors we live by” by george lakoff and mark johnson (1980), which tells how our use of language shapes our perception and eventually our reality.
the authors examplify on this by mentioning how we relate “argumentation” with the metaphor of “war”. there is always a “winner”, a “loser”, a “defense”, an “ending”, a “strong” one, a “weak” one, and etc. all the connotations about “argumentation” refer to “war” even if we don’t notice it anymore. the example becomes more interesting when the authors invite us to think of “argumentation” with the metaphor of “dance”. then there is no winner or loser, no struggles of power, and “harmony” becomes the key.
a similar situation is, for instance, when we talk of being “up” or “down”. we use “up” for all the positive states and “down” for negative ones. as lakoff and johnson find out these expressions have strong connections with the actual body postures we have when we are happy, energetic, hopeful or upset, tired, depressed.
wish we’ll have more “up” times in our lives and enjoy peaceful moments like this evening with norah jones’ carnival town.