Have you ever had a line get stuck in your head that you can’t complete? I’ve got a couple of those working this week. I am not talking about a line from a movie or a book, but about something I am supposed to write. Sometimes a phrase will trigger me to write something – a poem, story or essay. Sometimes it’s just a Facebook post.
The thought is incomplete and I know that there is something bigger behind the words that are struggling to get out. Sometimes a phrase or a word comes unbidden to my mind asking to become whole and complete.
Words have energy, power and a life of their own. Follow a conversation among friends and see how some words shape and twist the flow of the interaction and how some words fall empty on the floor. How often does a word, phrase or sentence land in your ear or enter through your eye to become a motivator of thought. Think of those times when special, powerful words have entered your soul and changed your life.
I heard a poem recently at a poetry reading and two words got stuck in my brain. They won’t leave. There is something – an inexplicable imperative that drives my mind to complete them, resolve them, to bring them to peace.
There is something about the words that disturbs my soul. Some lesson I need to learn. Some wisdom I need to understand. Yet the words do not complete. They ring in my ears and generate a feeling I can’t name. I can touch the edges of the metaphor and feel both the emptiness and the soaring fulfillment in the emotion.
A vision flies past my eyes as my head follows the image from heat waves rising from the distant railroad tracks to the sky where the dual contrail converges in the distance. Heat, difficulty, and regret fly into a distance filled with hope and joyous adventure.
Standing here on the tracks I am at the widest point of my life. The railway tie holds the two rails of hope and despair apart. Looking back I see where the two meet at my birth and through curves, switches and detours brought me here.
Looking forward, a vanishing point where the two extremes meet and fade into shimmering waves of heat rising from steal, wood, and the earth of a life lived. One rail empties the soul leaving only tears of nothingness. One rail soars into the sky and fills the soul with the happiness of creation and hope.
A plane flies overhead. Two hundred souls bound for adventure. Perhaps a vacation. Perhaps a conquest. Perhaps a new life. Perhaps to sorrow. The contrail marks their progress, until my eyes see the vanishing point.
I’ve taken these two words to the sea, to the forest, to work, to dinner, but no more words are conjured out of the air. The two words just drift along and stretch into the distance and disappear into the mist only to rise again in the deep midnight of an incomplete day.
I want to argue with the words. Fight them, force them to tell me why. Then anger fades and the words remind.
I want to hug the words. Love them, hold them, caress them until they lovingly enlighten my soul.
I want completion. I hunger for resolution.
But perhaps, this poor poet must live with the enigma until he finally comes to the vanishing point.
Till next week,