The problem with being stuck in your own body—or as I like to think of it, the reason we’re all fucked—is twofold; one, you’re stuck in your own body and so can’t tell others of what goes on in your head and heart, and two, you’re stuck in your own body and so have no concept of what’s going on in other heads and hearts.

Do you see? We’re all fucked. When we experience difficulty we sometimes want people to know of it — we tell friends, family, the internet. None of it works. We know that words are terrible at conveying thoughts and emotions. We speak anyway, because it’s all we’ve got. We try to do more. We hug, we kiss, we cry, we fuck; all in an effort to know the other, and to have the other know us.

We’ve invented faces and physical movements to tell other people how we’re feeling. We laugh out loud. We cry. We jump up and down, throw our arms around and make sounds. “Look!”

And yet we’re stuck, still, in our own bodies, and we know that no one will ever know what’s in there, and that they too are locked up. Joy or pain, our feelings are ours alone, although we sometimes assume that when joy is felt it is felt in the same way, and that pain is relative and personal. We compete for pain; for the position of who among us is hurting the most. We want to be recognized for our suffering, and for the fact that we’ve suffered more than anyone else; or at least more than a great many others.

We’re stuck, still, in our own bodies. We write songs and make art and tell stories in an attempt to get a thought across the barrier that is flesh and bone. When we describe our hearts and someone says “me too” we feel a sense of connection and comfort; we take a moment to rest from the endless work of translating thought into words, sounds, pictures, movement.

A duck sitting on green shrubs in a pond.
A duck, stuck. (Photo by me.)

And yet we find that we’re stuck, still, and we get right back to work, in search of more understanding and deeper connection. We long for the thing that instead of facing us and pretending to understand, will reach out and touch our beating heart, lay a hand on our mind; as close to us as anything or anyone can get.

And it comes. Maybe once, maybe a few times, maybe never in a lifetime, but we know it. When we’re touched in that way we have an urge to rest and rest forever; and we do for a little while, but we then have an urge greater; the urge to tell the world of how it feels to feel this way, and we get back to making words, sounds, pictures, movement.

How painful and beautiful that is, for a brief moment.

This, too, will be brief. I am stuck in my own body, and so are you. I want to tell you how I feel, and what I think, and for you to tell me the same, but I know, as do you, that there’s no way out, and that it is only in death that either of us can truly rest.