In my current metabiographic life, metaphors and similes alike keep popping up like weeds. I have tried cross-referencing a few of them as they dance their way across my mind. (Sensitive readers, please be aware that I was a veterinarian in a previous life).
- I have never cut the throat of an elephant before, but these days I am one step closer to imagining it. Minus the blood, that is. Slicing through socked agi pipe*, your knife catching on the slippery white fabric which stretches and clings like connective tissue, the coiled plastic wobbles under your blade. You cut. The coils give with a satisfying slip, a cartilaginous crack. You’re slitting the windpipe of an elephant.
- There is a specific feeling when resistance finally yields to insistence. You pull a little bit, wiggle a little bit. You don’t give up. You put just enough pressure on, without breaking anything off. You can feel it coming. Aha! It is the feeling of pulling a tooth out roots and all. It is the feeling of pulling a weed out (also roots and all). It is the feeling of gently, ever so gently, but without letting go, pulling out a retained placenta from a cow.
- Sugarcane residue used as mulch in garden beds come in bagged bales. You slit them open with a knife (what is a woman without her pocket knife!). And out pops the grassy mass like the dried-up contents of a cow’s rumen (first and largest stomach of four). Sans the smell.
- Paper is recycled plants and plants a kind of paper. Note the scribbly gum tree. As I stomp weeds, grass cuttings and other green waste down into a garden bag with one leg, I’m back in art class, long ago. All the paper towels and ink-covered newspapers we used when doing etchings or silk screen prints bulging out of the rubbish bins. Then Mrs. Botha steps in like superwoman with her high heels and stomps down the paper to make more space. Green waste, multi-coloured waste.
- Dances with lawnmowers. Forwards, backwards, turn on the spot, un-turn, into the corner, left box turn and back, twist and whisk and twinkle, one-two-three – a little lawn waltz.
* a kind of coiled plastic pipe used for drainage behind retaining walls