Today I want to talk to you about something rather interesting. About something so sensitive, so controversial, that it’s not even talked about in most public forums. I am speaking, of course, of clichés.
For those less familiar with clichés, here are some examples.
“Falling head over heels.”
“All’s well that ends well.”
“The greatest things in life are free.”
“Every cloud has a silver lining.”
Fun fact: most writers hate clichés.
They find them vague, overused, and lacking of original thought.
It’s true, most writers, nay; creators, feel that way. And today I want to offer, what I have come to believe, is the first public support of clichés. Let’s dive in.
I believe clichés are a simple way to say something complicated. In those few words exists a story, a sensation, even a lifetime can exist within a single clichés.
“Falling head over heels.” What a beautiful feeling! To feel love so truly and deeply in your heart that the weakness in your knees and breathlessness in your lungs might cause you to stumble so carelessly. I could tell you how I have “fallen head over heels” for someone, and in those four words exists a story that is so pure and serene that I hope it would inspire you to believe in love where you didn’t before.
“All’s well that ends well.” It is though, isn’t it? Isn’t any great struggle that ends in a favorable place worthwhile? College is expensive and challenging, but after you graduate, you might land a better job and have learned invaluable information. You might have taken chances in love and romance, made yourself vulnerable and found the love of your life. When you get to your destination, wasn’t it all worth it?
“The greatest things in life are free.” They absolutely are! A hug from a friend, a kiss from your lover, or even the scent of ocean mist as you stand along the shore. Long after your watch has become outdated, broken, or even decomposed, the rise and set of the sun will still tell you the time. Eons beyond when your GPS has returned to the elements of the soil, the stars will still give direction. Perhaps another way to say it, “The greatest things in life are priceless.”
“Every cloud has a silver lining.” Or “When a door closes, a window opens.”
All a matter of perspective here. You could be someone who stands infront of that door forever asking ‘why did this happen to me’. Or you could be one who was so set on going through that door that you try to break it down, pick the lock, or persuade another on the other side to let you in. That person sounds hopeful, they haven’t given up, right? Or that person who takes the window, the plan B, the “road less traveled”. The one who “goes with the flow” and then, by sheer statistics, is more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for than someone who is stuck in place. What a plethora of stories here!
The simplicity in clichés is not an absence of depth. On the contrary, I believe it is the mirrored surface of the ocean. Tempting and mysterious, beckoning you to dive further in and ask the right questions to find yourself within them. The create your relation to the universal-sea around you. How deep does this go? What are these emotions I am feeling? How do I keep them forever? Did M.C. just-so-happen to order those four clichés so that the first letter to each spells out ‘Fate’?
Everything means something so much more precious than some might perceive. So sometimes, maybe, living a cliché could tempt the right mind into opening itself and finding something that is true magic.
And if you can’t find the magic, perhaps you can summon her to you and create it yourself.