I was trying to use language to explain why at times what we experience is beyond words. It was at a dinner with a group of guys I’ve known for over a decade. They are all sensitive and caring, yet the point was rather lost on them.
But, you know what I mean, right? Things one can’t explain, those that are deep, found in the middle of heartbreak, joy, grief, love, or even hate. Rumours, or maybe complete all on their own.
It was the end of the movie. A long shot of a field of sunflowers, then another, the final scene – a bridge. They put me over the top. I found myself crying, with no warning. No use trying to describe how I felt, I just did.
I find when I can put a box of words around something, I am more in control. Whatever it is, it no longer has one over on me – I’ve figured it out. Without the language there is something other going on.
I think that might be what faith is. Not the kind with a capital F, but rather that small version, of trusting and listening to myself. The ability to rest in whatever it is that’s going on and not try to wrestle it to the ground, pin by the shoulders and shout “what the fuck are you?”
Ironically, I find poetry is the best learning place to let go of words. Metaphor becomes a guide to that blank page, the silence that is full. The other night, one of the questions from my buddies after a reading was “what does this even mean?” Precisely.
I’ve stumbled over and been tangled up by language. The need to identify and explain has diminished the very thing itself. I find that there are times when the only word that makes sense, that gives true weight to my experience, is: mystery.