Pebbles: Friend or Enemy


I am normally a shoe-wearing city dweller.  But this vacation is beginning on a Jersey beach where I enjoy barefoot walks in the sand.  Yet to get to the beach, I must go barefoot over hot sidewalks peppered with the small pebbles used here by most house owners instead of grass. Stepping on those pebbles hurts!

I discovered, however, that walking on a whole bunch of pebbles doesn’t hurt my feet and is actually pleasant.  It is the sidewalks or the stepping stones make the otherwise harmless pebbles hurt us barefoot folks — those structures are meant for people in shoes. Thus, monotonous asphalt or concrete makes the otherwise pleasant pebbles unbearable.

Humans are story tellers — incorrigible metaphor makers.  Well, some more than others but for me, metaphors spring to mind all the time.  And in this case, my first response was to be angry at the pebbles, but then I realized that it was bland uniformity that made these unique, mutually-forming and accommodating firm objects repugnant.

Question to readers:  Note that I distilled the potential metaphor to a vague abstraction. Please do feel free to bring it back to a concrete [sic] example if you see my point.  Or heck, make your own point!




Filed under Philosophy & Religion

4 responses to “Pebbles: Friend or Enemy

  1. Earnest

    It’s easy and comfortae to hide in a crowd, but it can be uncomfortable if a small number of people invade your personal space.

  2. Jerad

    It could be the pebbles that stand out from the crowd make more of an impression.

  3. A girlfriend I know tells me her therapist says she’s like the real “Princess and the Pea”. Apparently, in the myth or story the Princess sleeps on a little pea. She wakes up from her comfortable bed, except for the little pea in it, and find that all the little things are extremely agitating to her. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

  4. Earnest, Jerad and Scott: Thanks for participating — great stuff.
    My daughter and I are couch surfing Wales and England just now, so not writing much.

    But here was my feel for the pebbles:

    All us tiny people are oddly shaped and unique. It is only when a society tries to enforce uniformity do we seem odd and painful. If we cooperate and accommodate, we can be very comfortable with all the differences.

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