Life Is

Life is a bucket brigade: Don’t slop the bucket when it’s your turn.

What’s that you say? You’ve never heard that metaphor for life before? You wonder if I made it up?

Well, OK. I understand your skepticism.

What else? You’re not crazy about it?

Well, OK. I understand your preference for the more standard and, I admit, more popular metaphors for life. Although those would just be, ahem, something someone else made up.

In this regard, a little internet surfing on this topic even turns up a Canadian songwriter.

Life is a highway, I’m gonna ride it, all night long.

Liberating? Exhilarating? Not so much. I’m not crazy about driving, so life as a highway seems endlessly tedious and stressful to me. And I gave up all that hard-charging rock music when I turned 25. These days I go more for country rhythms.

Life’s a dance you learn as you go,
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
It don’t matter what you don’t know,
Life’s a dance you learn as you go.

It sort of draws you in and gets you humming thoughtlessly along, but what was that third line? It don’t matter what I don’t know? That don’t sound right, not on any level.

Life is a game of cards: You have to play the hand you are dealt.

Well, at least that’s grammatically correct, but it’s hardly helpful. Just try playing Kings over tens when the game is euchre, not poker. Life is a game of cards? Don’t go there.

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Oh, puh-leeze, not this old chestnut. Yeah, yeah, and the journey is more important than the destination. Clearly a world view promulgated by folks who don’t like to Get Things Done.

Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop.

Oh, no, not this old be-grateful-even-for-the-bad-stuff claptrap. And besides, using a pun for something as substantive as the meaning of life is just a bit hokey, don’t you think?

Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Oh, gosh, I liked this one better before I knew its provenance: a Japanese novel titled “Norwegian Wood,” published in English a full five years before “Forrest Gump” hit the screens. It’s just so hard to get creative credit, isn’t it? Which brings me full circle.

Life is a bucket brigade. Yup, I like it. Original. Visual. And invested with as much inspirational meaning about practicality, team work, and continuity as I care to invest in it.

Of course, after a while of surfing the ‘net, any inspirational saying seems a little precious. And that always brings out the contrarian in me.

Life is, like, a strained metaphor.

I just made that up. Who knows? There could be a songwriter out there somewhere just waiting to put that to music.

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12 Responses to Life Is

  1. A little bit O/T, but I just saw this yesterday: Art for Life’s Sake.
    Not the usual “Art for Art’s Sake,” in case you are not “into” the arts
    and have never heard the original expression.

    How about “Life for Art’s Sake”???
    Whatever Life is, it’s very useful.

  2. Sid & Lorraine says:

    Good fun. We used to see some others in my days in the Forces but fortunately I have forgotten most. If interested perhaps the Big Guy could fill in the gaps.


  3. Jim Taylor says:

    I like Barbara’s comment, about life being useful. So I’d coin a variant that I’m sure some manufacturer of consumer goods can use as a slogan: “Life — it’s hard to do without it.”

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