Thanks to Jessica for sending me a quote from Joan Didion:
"We live entirely, especially us writers, by the imposition of a narrative line on disparate images."
This was, of course, the same thing I was saying in my most recent post.
It occurs to me also that - taken to the extreme - this tendency is also symptomatic sometimes of mental illness. For example, if someone begins to feel that, oh, say, all the people who wear black shoes in the local Stop-and-Shop on a particular Saturday are actually members of a secret anti-Semitic society (because "black shoes" actually means "block Jews") and only you understand this and it is important to notify the government...except that many members of the President's Cabinet also wear black shoes; and come to think of it, so does your dentist, and he is the one who was in a position to install tiny microphones inside your fillings...etc.
The line between metaphor and madness is fragile, I think. Perhaps the task of the the serious - sane - writer throughout history has been to impose order and coherence on the randomness of human imagery.
I need to think about thhis some more.
But not right now. It is Sunday morning and the New York Times crossword puzzle takes precedence over everything.