Indescribable




Indescribable

(from Within My Illusions)


Why is the best part,

The part I'd most like to write,

Indescribable?






I've been trying all week to write a story about the bird that flew into my house at the beginning of my online Poetry Timeout event last month. A wren found its way in through a small opening in the window and then couldn't find its way back out. It's easy to describe the details, the chain of events and how everyone reacted to them. But as I've been writing the narrative, I haven't yet been able to express the experience in a way that feels satisfying to me, that might connect you to the combination of bewilderment and exhilaration and awe that I felt by this unexpected guest.


Instead of sharing the bird story this week as I had planned, I decided to choose a poem in a mysterious way. I set both of my poetry books (Brainstorms and Within My Illusions) on the table in front of me, closed my eyes and shuffled the books around so I didn't know which was which. I put a hand over each book, noticed a slight tingling sensation under my right hand, and picked up that book. With my eyes still closed, I thumbed through the book to someplace in the middle, opened my eyes and landed on this haiku, "Indescribable," originally written as a sort of poet's lament.


I'm reminded that, while language is a wonderful tool for connecting and communicating, sometimes words can limit, confuse, or even misrepresent the very thing I want to share. I've love stories and storytelling since I was a child. As I started paying more attention to the way stories and experience interact, I've noticed the way stories shift in form as they move from direct experience to thought to spoken and written word. It seems as though the introduction of any sort of language at all begins to form a container around the experience. Maybe stories are simply containers for the uncontainable largess of life. And maybe some experiences just don't want to be contained.


I feel compelled to keep writing about the wren to see where the story takes me. And I'd love to invite you to my next Poetry Timeout on Sunday, April 25. I'll be joined by my friend, Nico Cary, a poet, Dharma and Medicine Path practitioner, interdisciplinary artist, and Garrison Institute Fellow. I'm particularly excited for this exchange because every time I am in conversation with Nico, I experience insights that transform me in some fundamental way. You can get all the details and sign up here.


For now, I wish you moments of indescribable wonder.