Kirsten Mustain

Metaphor:  The figure of speech in which a name or descriptive term is transferred to some object to which it is not properly applicable.


The Oxford Universal Dictionary provided the above definition, but went on to illustrate the meaning with an actual metaphor. A beautiful word, metaphor. It cannot even be properly described without the use of the thing that it describes.

In my life I have been blessed with some wonderful and amazing friends and acquaintances.

The other night one of these friends – a person who brings much joy to my life and sets an example that is worth following in his work for God and country – said something that really made me smile.

He said, “You chase a lot of rabbits, don’t you?”

An image of myself running across the lawn at dusk with little brown bunnies scattering ahead in all directions flashed through my mind.


Then I lit upon the Alice in Wonderland reference and realized he was employing a metaphor.

One of the things I love about people is their constant ability to surprise me.

Literary types thrive on metaphors – especially unexpected ones that arise in unexpected places. A metaphor can often communicate an abstract idea more succinctly and more effectively than a mere definition.

Often I do feel a bit like Alice, I must say.

Truth is like a white rabbit, popping his head up, checking his watch, and darting away before I can ask him a question.

The world is like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. People spout nonsense as if it is indisputable fact and offer you tea only to snatch the cup away before you can take a sip.

At the end of the day I sometimes feel like Alice when she said, “But I don’t want to go among mad people!”

Fortunately, there are people in the world who are not mad, and I am blessed to know some of them.

They offer the succor of a warm smile, the lifeline of a friendly handshake, and the ultimate gift of reminding me not to take things too seriously.