14 Metaphorical Staircases to Ponder On

Metaphoric and literal, these staircases make us stop and ponder.

In life, we spend a lot of time mounting and alighting from steps – both figuratively and literally. We go up. We go down. On occasion, our lives spiral in every which way, but always there’s another step on the horizon. We take it.

Considering staircases as a purely utilitarian feature to get us from one level to another, and as a metaphorical reference to the ups and downs of a life lived either passively or intentionally, we found 12 staircases that make us stop and ponder; laugh and wonder.

“An escalator can never break: it can only become stairs. You should never see an ‘Escalator Temporarily Out Of Order sign,’ just ‘Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.’”

– Comedian Mitch Hedberg

“God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.”

-19th-century mystic Ramakrishna

“I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me of school itself.”

-British novelist, Roald Dahl

“Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.”

-Writer, Rudyard Kipling

“Now, finally has the elevator arrived. The stairs was about to become a personal inferno.”

-Swedish Artist, Anders Zorn

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

– Civil Rights Activist, Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments.”

-English “man of letters”, Samuel Johnson

“The ambitious climbs up high and perilous stairs, and never cares how to come down; the desire of rising hath swallowed up his fear of a fall.”

– Calvinist Clergyman, Thomas Adams

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

– Former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt

Alice falls down the rabbit hole and her dress poofs up like a parachute.

Alice: “Well, after this I should think nothing of falling down stairs.”

Alice in Wonderland

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

– Naturalist, transcendentalist and abolitionist, Henry David Thoreau

“The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days.”

– Philosopher, Voltaire

“To destroy is always the first step in any creation.”

– american poet, e. e. cummings


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K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.