“There is no light at the end of the tunnel” I said to myself. I was irritated. Nothing that I was trying to fix the situation was working. Maybe I was trying too hard. Maybe it was time to just let it go. But when you are that close to giving up, you sometimes tend to laugh. So I laughed. I also found it amusing that the phrase ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ had popped in my mind. So then I did what I typically do when a phrase pops up like that – I googled it!
“If you see light at the end of the tunnel, it is the oncoming train” ~ Robert Lowell. Ha! Well said Mr. Lowell. Okay, what else does Google have for me? “The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is.” ~ Unknown. Whoever came up with that – nice! And soon the cells in my brain that love wordplay got into action and I decided to play a game where you try to list a few other ways to use that phrase.
You can play this game with any phrase. First look at the phrase one way, then look at it another way, then turn it upside down, then turn yourself upside down, be silly, take the words apart and twist-twist-twist till the brain cells get a good exercise. Keep writing what comes to your mind. Do this fast for a few minutes and then take a break. Then repeat one more time. You can then sit back and appreciate the power of words – their ability to both communicate and cause confusion. You can see the absurdity of language and the danger in attaching a precise meaning to it. You can wonder how attractive language is with its almost-infinite nature…but I digress. Coming back to the list, here is what I came up with:
- The light is never at the end of the tunnel, it is in your eyes. You just have to open your eyes and see.
- When you see light at the end of the tunnel, that’s actually a start.
- You hope that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, but what if this thing called ‘hope’ is as twisted as the tunnel?
- There’s light at the end of the tunnel, light at the beginning of the tunnel. Then why in the world did you enter the tunnel?
- As soon as you see light at the end of the tunnel, the same tunnel doesn’t look that wicked anymore. What gives?
- You don’t know if there is “light at the end of the tunnel”. What if it is just a phrase they like to use and Google likes to store?
- If the tunnel was like a funnel, the end would be full of beer and if the beer was not light then wouldn’t that spread some cheer?
- Don’t just ‘see’ the light at the end of the tunnel, taste it, hear it and dance with it!
- If you see light at the end of the tunnel, then turn around and appreciate the darkness for it gave you company for a long time.
- The tunnels, the end, the light, it’s giving me a fright! Am I stuck in this tunnel of tunnels?
Alright, now you play the game. It’s fun! I don’t guarantee that playing this game will show you the light at the end of the tunnel, but it will make you smile and that I promise! :-)