Expressing the inexpressible

Just this

How can you speak what can’t be spoken?

How can you express that which language eludes?

Over and over and over again I wonder at the inadequacy of language to capture the supremacy of the moment.

Over and over and over again I feel the limits, the challenges, of putting one single thought into concrete words.

And yet–over and over again–the words arise, like pure delight, insisting upon expressing the inexpressible. They insist upon painting colored photographs, or tinted sentiments.

Here are some old fragments of blogs which I started and never finished on Simply Here:

June, 2011: 

Alarm trills us awake; 5 a.m.  Bleary-eyed clutching sheet, feeling cool breeze fluttering through open windows.  Dog barks.  Bird sings the sun above Manhattan’s horizon.

Frosting cupcakes.  Gathering computer, camera, book.  K’s last official day at work as manager of coffee shop.  Feet slapping pavement toward roaring subway.  Unexpected twist of green tree snaking its Zen path alongside iron fire escape. 

“If you hear the train coming, run,” advises daughter. 

Leg muscles burn climbing subway stairs, litter against cement, twisted metal.  Swiping Metro card smooth as silk through silver entryway, doors opening, train filled with handsome Spanish-speaking men, Red Bull sipper, too-loud headphones, red-haired boy, scarved Muslim woman. 

Across nearly-deserted streets piled high with black garbage bags we fly toward the Gershwin Hotel.  Air feels cool, inviting.  Four black men approach; one meets my eye and nods “good morning”. 

I spend today in the upper tier “library” of the coffee shop awaiting Jeff, an Internet friend, scheduled to arrive between 10 and 10:30, or perhaps 11 a.m.  My daughter delivered latte with a milky leaf-like pattern drizzling atop.  Breakfast smells waft upward.

Practice, practice, practice.  Being present in this changing swirling still moment.  Being truly here, truly here.  Not missing another second in the dream of what if or what about.  Every moment another opportunity to remember. 

Couch beneath skirt, bare legs, jade plants on wooden tables.  Stomach growling.  Fingers typing. 

That’s all.  That’s enough.

And then there was another unfinished blog, sometime during summer’s whirling:

I’ve decided.  Finally.  I simply want to grow up during these remaining years on our blue and green spinning planet.

(What do you mean, you wonder?  Aren’t you already grown up?  Aren’t you–how old are you anyway–almost 54 years old?  Shouldn’t you have grown up a long, long, long, long, long time ago?)

You would think, wouldn’t you, that we would grow up before we die.  You would think that we would reach some stipulated age, such as twenty-five or forty-six, and finally figure it out.  We would mature enough to soothe out all our rough inner roads, our rocky creeks, our quicksand swamps.

I’ve met very few grown-ups in my life.  You meet people wearing grown-up masks.  Responsible masks.  Masks that show they know how to maneuver the ordinary roads, the adults roads, the human roads. 

The masks cover our confused child, our rocky teenager, our deadened middle ager, our dying elder.  They hide our quivering, our confusion, our not-knowing.  They obscure our fear of emptiness. 

We carry baskets through our life filled with doings.  We fill our baskets with adventures, drama, creativity, watching TV, reading books, planting gardens, singing lullabies. 

Yet something inside us knows our true challenge is to turn inwards toward any ravaging which remains.  We must fully turn our face toward the tears, the weeping, the concealed rage.  We must meet our inner wolf.  We must meet our inner fanged creature that stalks our midnight dreams.

Without facing these tousled tossed abandoned raw fragments of spinning dancing weeping energy, we will never grow up.  We will remain half-humans.  We will live on the shell of our lives, the cusps of our lives, never quite diving into the quagmire to find the pearled oyster within.

I don’t care about chasing enlightenment.  Forget that.  I am simply turning fiercely, yet gently, toward growing up. 

Someone recently said that the trinity lies dormant within, waiting.  The trinity is many things, but for growing-up purposes it could be described as Father, Mother and Child.  The father is our inner capacity for guidance; the mother represents unconditional love and nurturance.  The child is our joy, our innocence, our creativity.

Yet our child so often remains stifled by culture, by premature burying, by refusal to play.  Our child lives in our emotional pain, unheard, untended, unloved.  Our inner parents remain helpless to the child’s frustration, either allowing it too much or too little.  We resent our inner guidance, we don’t love with our whole hearts.

And still one last unspoken, hard-to-express, impossible-to-express blog sits waiting in the files, never thinking it would see the light of dawn:

Dear Reader,

Delight so encompassing in your heart that birds roost there forever and flutter beyond imagined cages into infinite jungles of inexpressible freedom.

Joy so delicious that you’ll lick the ice cream cone of your known world with abandon, amazed with every manifestation.

Happiness beating so steadily without cause leaving you breathless and poignant atop the sensual moment thrilled to breathe again and yet again.

Peace so encompassing that it relaxes every cell in your wondering body, in your wanting body, in your not-knowing body.  Peace so monumental that it eclipses the sun of your desire with its fullness, its satiation, its enough-ness.

You move into the next minute and it’s enough–oh, so enough!  so enough!  And you sing and sing and sing in the joy of it, the fireworks bursting around your possibility with a zillion colors of the most gentle unfurling, never more or less than your heart could dream.

Expressing the inexpressible.  Over and over and over again…


8 thoughts on “Expressing the inexpressible

    • I am glad you enjoyed the fragments, Laurie. I couldn’t bear to delete them and throw them in the virtual trash! Perhaps someday they will become fat & plump hens with juicy meat on their Thanksgiving bones.

    • **The fragments didn’t want to be deleted with the cruel flick of the fingers, Dawn. They begged to be allowed to speak. Who can resist whimpering fragements?** lol…thanks for visiting Simply Here.

  1. Kathy, I don’t know anyone who comes closer to expressing the unexpressible than you. So much gratitiude for who you are, your willingness, your words…..

    • What a lovely thing to say, Colleen! I always wonder if some day I will just cease to express it…or if someday will delight in it even more. Thank you for your gratitude, and know that I feel the same way about you.

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