The road to hell, the stairway to heaven

I’ve never understood imagery.  We have a road to hell paved with good intentions and a stairway to heaven that apparently can be bought.  Me, I’m stuck somewhere in between, wondering if my good intentions will put me on the highway to Hades or give me a ticket to ride.

I once had an hour-long argument with someone as to whether a particular turn of phrase constituted a metaphor or an image.  He knows who he is, so I won’t name him.  But the memory of that hilarious conversation lingers, decades after it occurred.  The reason?  Communication, baby! It’s all about bridging the gaps with language that resonates.

Words mean so much.  As a writer, I hammer words onto a keyboard and send them winging through the cosmos — of late, via electronics but from birth using any method available.  I even bought postage stamps yesterday and affixed them to actual hand-addressed Thank-You cards.

But words fail if the listener has a different frame of reference than the speaker.  I say, “What can I do for you?” and the person contorts their face years later spitting out, “You never said you loved me!”  Someone says “Can I help you?” and I shirk away, sputtering, “Do you think I’m so crippled that I can’t do anything for myself?”

A thousand ways to say what I mean and if I don’t find just the one you want to hear, you never know what I feel.  Worse:  You assume you know and act on your assumption.

I take my good intentions.  I stack them one on the other.  I smear the mortar of my love between them.  Am I building a house or a wall?  I’m building a castle and it has a drawbridge.  Cross the moat.

Happy Sunday, everyone.  This blog entry comes to you from a Lenovo Yoga 2 propped on the pulled-out desk of a beautiful old secretary, in the wood-floored dining room of a 93-year-old airplane bungalow in Brookside, Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States of America.  Picture it.  Smile.




2 thoughts on “The road to hell, the stairway to heaven


    I, too, make a concerted effort to read your blog everyday. I enjoy it immensely. I am in awe at your command of the language and ability to write what you do. I am learning how many talented people are in our family. Keep them coming.

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      Adell, how lovely! My father wrote poetry and his father wrote poetry. My son is a playwright working on an MFA at Northwestern. I don’t know if there are writers on Mother’s side of the family — do you? I’d love to be connected with them! Thank you for the kind words and for honoring me by spending a few minutes of your life with me.


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