There’s Something Inside That’s Stirring

There’s always been times in my life where words simply could not capture what I held inside me. I write. It’s my life, my blood. But not all writing is the same. An essay can express a thought. A story can express an idea, a feeling. But what can express something that’s past a thought, that’s more than a feeling?

29. Poetry

I’m not a master poet. I used to write poetry a lot, but now I rarely ever write a verse. Rhyming couplets were always what drew my interest most, but I’ve experimented with stanzas and free-style and even haikus. Sometimes I’ve even written poetry just for the sake of it. Now it only seems I ever speak it if I’m truly at a loss for what’s inside me.

I’m trying to be thankful, but I’m starting to feel bitter and impatient. I’m trying to be friendly, but sometimes I just feel used, or else insincere. I don’t like feeling either. It’s like my life is so focused in some direction whose magnitude I can’t measure, at an angle I can’t discern, that I feel juxtaposed between two extremes, caught in a field that pulls me in every direction while pushing me down. It’s an unpleasant feeling. It’ll pass soon enough.

The worst part of this indecision is that indecision is a fuse inside me. It takes the whole of my thoughts and strings them together in such ways I can’t relate to. Those things that can draw me from my brooding depths are those things that help me least, but it’s those things I need most that bring it all back to me. And of those activities that I do, all this extra, unnecessary thinking leaves me either exhausted or distracted or precariously both.

Have you ever felt full of energy but unable to move? Or full of motion but lacking the energy behind it? It feels like living in a state of contradiction, in that everything you stand for has taken a seat, but you’re still left standing. Have you ever felt like this? Am I the only one trapped in this psychological mess?

I’ve been reading stories lately that accentuate fatal flaws. I’d like to write a post about that some time, I think it’d be interesting, but I’m still thinking what I’d say. What is my fatal flaw? I can’t decide between indecision and overthinking. Perhaps I can’t decide because I’m indecisive. Perhaps I can’t decide because I’m overthinking the issue. It’s really one of those. It must be. And to apply either to life is hapless and hopeless.

They work well for math. Indecision can be crippling, but at least it lets me question things with an open mind, try both approaches to see what works. Overthinking lets me drift into that moment wherein all the numbers make sense and the answers flow forth without much thinking. It’s a moment of understanding that guides me across the paper.

It’s that understanding that eludes me.

I crave knowledge, and I crave wisdom, but I don’t crave blanket facts or generalizations. I crave understanding. Physics, what has always made me love physics, is that it lets me understand the world. What I love about math is that it’s not subjective–what’s true is true, and within that is where I find some relief from my whirling mind where everything is simultaneously real and imaginary, is at once a dream and reality.

So when everything inside me is yearning to get out, but when I don’t know what I’m even trying to say, there’s poetry. There’s cadence. Rhythm. Breath and motion. It’s a dance, one that carries us each along in our way.

It’s those footsteps I’m looking for, waiting for the end of this song to play.

So today, when I’m too confused to think about anything else, I’m thankful for poetry.


4 thoughts on “There’s Something Inside That’s Stirring

  1. The thing most notable about poetry, and how it isn’t seen, is its inherent quality of always being adequate, unless seen otherwise by the writer. With or without rhyme, with or without flow, with or without structure, poetry is never “(qualitatively) bad,” nor is it ever good.

    It can be beautiful, it can be disdainful, but even so it never is anything more than what an author chooses to write and a reader chooses to read.

    In that sense it’s interesting that I playfully call my collection of poems (which isn’t really a collection at all) “mediocre verse,” of course referencing the critics that panned Oscar Wilde’s first bundle.

    I think that does say a lot about the nature of poetry. There is no denying Wilde was a linguistic and literary genius, that he was exceptional beyond recognition and that he was “the fullest and most complete Lord of language of perhaps the last millenia,” as Stephen Fry described him.

    And this man’s verse was mediocre, at best. Still, it conveyed messages beautifully and inspired thousands of his peers (among some of the greatest writers known to this age), all while holding the charm of a work worthy of Wilde.

    I’m not even sure why I started rambling about this, but I think it really also applies to many of what is otherwise written or said. Opinion can be flawed, fact can be misrepresented and clarity can be void. Still, as long as a line says what the author truly means for it to say, it cannot be bad to have it been said.

    And so I’m not only thankful for poetry, but also for its ability to convey what remains without speech. To show us what we would be, were we only words to be read.

    Great post.

    • Thank you, Iced. I truly appreciate your response; it was thoughtful and definitely made me think some more, and that’s something I think you know I adore. I always love reading your replies and I hope that the others who read my posts will read yours as well.

  2. I liked your poem Darren. You really described optimism about the future yet a large amount of uncertainty. You ought to write more poems.

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