Old clichés: dissecting the silver lining
Old clichés: dissecting the silver lining
After staring at my computer for three long hours listening to Peter White’s Just Another Day over and over on iTunes, it suddenly hit me! How our whole world is filled with words. They come in sets, although some are effective in their single forms, and they are all stored in our individual brains. We use them to survive, to communicate. Then I thought, why not write about a good set of words? And what better set than what we all know as a cliché.
Old clichés have played a vital role in our existence as humans. I wonder if that thought has ever crossed your mind? How does one seem to automatically come up with a good cliché to describe situations? Let me focus on the term “silver lining” for a moment. John Milton’s phrase, better known as “every cloud has a silver lining”, is best described in Wikipedia (the people’s encyclopedia) as a metaphor for optimism and categorized as an idiom. Added George Lansbury’s cartoon drawing of a man facing a torrential rain, protected by his “Brolsky”, as he called it, with the word incorruptibility written on the umbrella. Delving into that cliché, that play on words. Then I realized how big his role was in the life of an ordinary person! Escaping him from life’s disappointments. How mentioning this metaphor whenever we miss the morning bus, are late for an important meeting, lose a job, there seems to be an endless list of situations where this phrase can best serve its good purpose. It’s worth keeping intact in one’s database as a weapon to deal with the unprepared Oh-God! events.
Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the “silver lining” as a member of the long list as something akin to prayer. In a situation of losing a loved one, be it a friend, lover, neighbor or even a dog. Wouldn’t these three words work well for everyone, just like a prayer? Doesn’t it give us the same feeling of being saved from a bad feeling? As the dissection continues, I begin to realize how powerful the “silver lining” turns out to be. Three simple words that require clear definition and once their meaning is clearly understood can be used as an effective tool of some kind.
A good friend told me a story the other week. She heard a soft knock on her bedroom door and was pleasantly surprised to find it was her mother. She says, “Let’s talk.” So she walks away from my computer and follows her mom into the kitchen. That place in their home that has become the heart, as in most of our own homes. They were looking forward to a very large estate sale. Her mother had been working on this project for years and it was obviously a good time for her efforts to be well compensated. It was also a deal that would solve most of their current difficulties as well as pave the way to a more comfortable life. Her mother, beaming with pride, announces that they are about to close a big deal and all the paperwork, including a paycheck, is already in the works. By this time, all the other members of their family had joined them and they were all excited about the great ‘blessing’. They were a Catholic family and the greatest wealth was attributed to the blessings.
Now the whole family is taking the next step in their search for a house to buy, all 20 real estate agents are calling. Everyone gets in their car and drives from house to house, broker to broker. Keep track of which house is the best at the most reasonable price. Even before they closed their eyes to sleep, all their thoughts were on the imminent completion of this great deal. A week passed and the same thing happened. The mother knocks on her daughter’s bedroom door, but this time it’s not good news. The buyer had given up instantly! Ah, a real oh-my-god moment! Now mother and daughter, almost in tears, sit together in the same kitchen and automatically say, “it might be some kind of blessing, God surely has something better for all of us.” If this mother and child were American, they would certainly use a “silver lining” to save them both heartache and disappointment.
This story clearly shows us how our star of stars “silver lining” holds both strength and weight in even the simplest of people, homes and situations. I could tell another story, this time in the highest court of the land, but that would make my story too long and I don’t want to bore you.
In concluding this text, I hope that I have given a “silver lining” to his existence in our lives. I look forward to seeing you again when I move on to the first second star on my list of old clichés. But until then, please remember to keep these three words and their meaning close to you. They are free and easy to use.
#clichés #dissecting #silver #lining