The Onion Metaphor
Living in the moment is all the rage. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can see the benefit of that to some extent, but it feels a bit over hyped. I mean, we can’t do anything to change the past right? So letting it go seems the obvious choice. But we are borne of the past, forged in the crucible of not only our own history, but the history of everything.
I’ll tell you the story that has influenced this line of thinking for me. I’m not a fan of the whole “red vs. blue” forced dichotomous language and thinking, but I’m about to use that language here just to tell the following story. There is a blue belt across the otherwise solidly red south. It coincides with the location of a prehistoric inland sea. Yep, prehistoric, you read that right. The explanation for this blue belt is that said inland sea left large flat swaths very fertile land that were later turned into huge plantations that brought in massive amounts of slaves. This population affects our current political map, if you will, and thus, the PREHISTORIC inland sea affects our current political map.
See what I mean? The past is the past and I get that we’re not changing it, but we’re holding on to the residue of that past whether we acknowledge it or not. Or maybe the past is holding on to us, while we try in vain to cut the cords that bind us together.
This is how I’ve become a big fan of onion seedlings. They don’t pretend to leave the seed from which they emerged behind, they just carry it with them into the present. It’s a full acknowledgement that they are a product of history, and I, of course, love the metaphor.
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