Before the miracle of the trotting dog, I was thinking on my walk about poetry.
The thing about words is that they’re not the things they are. This is the word ‘cat.,’ but it’s not a cat (or a pipe, as you know). But part of how we get by in the world most of the time is to just make the leap from these squiggles–cat–to the concept of cat as quickly as possible. So fast and so easy that we don’t notice that we’ve made a leap. Certainly we don’t look down and see just how vast and cavernous the distance between squiggle and thing is.
But a poem that works does so, in part, because its asking you to look down, to live, for a little bit, in between the squiggle and the thing. It asks you to wait and see what might come up out of that infinite space when we sit with it, not just hurry over it.