Commonalities are Threads

  • Description of motion:  Finger moves as if tracing a circle
  • Observed: Rad School Meeting. 1-14-2015. Jack.  13 people seated around a rectangular table.
  • Example:  "There is a common thread that you can trace though all of these concepts."
  • Link to use:  Authorities see drugs as common thread running through many recent thefts
  • Use:  Metaphor used to link events, objects, ideas together through a commonality.  
  • Metaphor:  Commonalities are Threads
  • Explanation:  Imagine three balls linked together by a piece of thread.  The thread runs through the center of each one and then completes itself to form a circle.  Each object has a core, an essence that is located in the middle.  The thread is the common feature that unites these objects by penetrating them through their core, thus creating a categorical quality that all of these objects possess.  Because this commonality between objects is thought of as a thread it can also have threadlike qualities, one being that thread is thin and hard to see.  The connections between these three objects might also be thin and hard to see.  It might also be described as tenuous, another term used often with thread.  This bonding things through thread is also present in the phrase, "tying it all together".  The gesture itself is a circle because it is a uniting gesture, that of linking disparate objects into a group.

    There are of course other ways to bind things together.  Other "linkages" are found in such expressions as "we are linked together" or even the "hyper-links" in this webpage.  What this suggest is that there is differing ways to bind things together whether through thread or chain, each having their own set of physical characteristics.  For instance, thread has "loose ends" and so when an idea seems not bound together well, we tell people they need to "tie up their loose ends".  Chain has links and so when we talk about group dynamics, we can refer to someone as "the weakest link".
  • Origin:  We can look out at the animals around us and see that some animals have horns, and some animals don't have horns.  These animals are then united by this one categorical characteristic.  Uniting things in this way is much like tying things together.  If we were to take three sticks and wrap them together with string, we could also say that these three disparate sticks have been united into one object, thus our connection with uniting things and thread.

Physical Bonds are Emotional Bonds

  • Description of motion:  Two hands start far apart and then quickly move towards each other until they touch.
  • Date Observed:  1-20-15.  Dinner.  4 people seated at table.  Laura Frank.
  • Link to use:  8 Ways to Reconnect and Strengthen Your Relationship
  • Example:  "In the last few years they had grown far apart, but last month they finally reconnected."
  • Use:  Used to describe people forming emotional bonds with each other.
  • Metaphor:  Physical Bonds are Emotional Bonds
  • Explanation:  There is a Celtic wedding ritual called, "Hand Fasting" in which two people that are about to be "bound" together in the social/legal/emotional sense (marriage) are also bound in the physical sense by a ribbon tying their hands together.   The two people are thought of as separate objects, that are then united into one thing by "the bond" which in this ritual is represented by the ribbon.  We feel "connected" to other people emotionally, because tying things together physically manifests some of the shared characteristics, that of closeness, oneness, extra weight, etc.  
  • Origin:  Similar origin to Commonalities are Threads.  Bonds are responsibilities to each other.  
  • Metaphorical Cohesion: Physical Distance is Emotional Distance.  Bound Hands are Bound Actions.

Bound Hands are Bound Actions

  • Description of motion:  Hands are held out in front of the body close together as if they are bound.
  • Date Observed: 01/01/2015 at Brunch.  Person was standing.
  • Example:  A baker works at a bakery and is forced to throw away all of the day old bread instead of giving it to a homeless woman who asks for a loaf.  "I wish I could help you, but my hands are tied."  Use:  Implies a lack of authority to make the proper decision, an inability to effect change in a given outcome, a loss of control over a situation, etc.  
  • Metaphor:  Bound Hands are Bound Actions.
  • Explanation: When our hands are bound, we experience an inability to move freely with our bodies.  The rope is a foreign object that is imposing its will upon us, or more likely, the rope acts as a proxy for the person who tied it.  If Charlie tied up Lindsey, then the rope is in effect, the will of Charlie restricting Lindsey's freedom of movement.  We can experience this same kind of constraint in the abstract sense, such as when confronted with a situation where our range of choices are limited by an imposing seemingly invisible authority.  In the example given above, the baker wants to give the bread to the homeless woman, but knows that his boss doesn't permit it.  His bosses restriction of action is imagined as a similarly restrictive bound hands.
  • Origin:  Given our often violent and aggressive beginnings, intimidation, submission to authority and uneasy compliance to the rules are most likely fundamental experiences of the human being.  These emotional experiences of these aggressive behaviors are perfect corollaries with the physical aggression that was also rampant at the time such as pillaging, enslavement and rape.