Those of you following my blog know that I just returned from a visit to my brother Michael, who is autistic, profoundly retarded and nonverbal. In my past few posts I have detailed the visit and its disappointing outcome. I am trying to regroup, using my blog as a forum to articulate ideas and perhaps come to a bit more clarity and insight.
I started reading Metaphors We Live By. The authors state that “metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.”  They use the metaphor, the mind is a brittle object to show how ingrained metaphor is in our language. One would not think that one is using this metaphor when one uses the phrases: “Her ego is very fragile; He broke under cross examination; She is easily crushed.” 
Life is a bowl of cherries
Just joking. This is not the metaphor that governs my daily life.
Cain just killed his brother Abel. God asked Cain where Abel was, and he answered, “How should I know.” (paraphrasing of course). According to the Torah (Genesis 4:9) Cain actually said “Am I my brother’s keeper?” According to commentary, the answer is, yes I am my brother’s keeper. 
Is my metaphor really a metaphor?
My father told me that I am my brother’s keeper years ago. Could it be that this metaphor shaped my life without my being aware of it, as in the examples above? Is the phrase “I am my brother’s keeper” an actual metaphor? I desperately need the help of a metaphoratician for an answer.
Assuming it is a metaphor, I know that my life has been shaped for the better through its unconscious influence.
However it might be time for a new one to get me unstuck (‘unstuck’ used in the context of the metaphor, life is a bowl of honey).
 Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. Metaphors We Live By Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1980, 2003
 Ibid pg 28