A month ago I sat in an auditorium at the Festival of Faith and Writing waiting to hear author Ann Voskamp speak about story and beauty. I sat among rows and rows of eager fan-ladies, all of us longing to hear the sound of her voice, hoping she would whisper secrets to us about how to live and write and live on a farm and take perfect photos with a grateful heart. Though I was not expecting Voskamp, the author of One Thousand Gifts, to arrive on stage cracking jokes and rolling her eyes (that’s certainly not her style), I also wasn’t expecting what came out: a honey-thick alto full of metaphor from the get go, an actual seed in her palm and the declaration (as far as I remember): “I am a seed in the palm of the one who grows all things.”
Like many younger Americans, I have a tendency to accept rich metaphor and deep talk if it’s surrounded by a little self-depreciation or a few moments of realigning one’s words with the reality of the world. For instance, if Voskamp had said: “I know I’m dramatic, you guys, but sometimes I feel like I am a seed in the palm of the one who grows all things!”
Or, “You know me. Always a metaphor! But listen up: I am a seed in the palm of the one who grows all things.”
If she had sighed and shrugged her shoulders, I wouldn’t have been near so nervous, wiggling in my chair, threatening to giggle like a middle-school boy during the 7th grade sex talk: Too much metaphor too soon!