It’s a funny thing, writing. Some stories are so easy they practically write themselves. All you have to do is sit down at the keyboard, and it all just comes spilling out.
Other stories, not so much…
It always helps, of course, when you have a good story to begin with; something exciting that you just have to tell people about. But just because you’ve had a memorable experience, it doesn’t always mean that writing it will come naturally or easily. In fact, it often seems like my more meaningful adventures, the ones I want to tell people about the most, tend to be the hardest to write.
That being said, I’ve got a particular story, something that happened to me over two weeks ago, that I just can’t seem to capture in words.
I don’t know how many times I’ve started typing, getting a few sentences (or even paragraphs) into it, only to realize that it’s total garbage, and I end up deleting the entire thing. And then, once again, I’m back to square one, cursing at that stupid blinking cursor at the top left-hand corner of my blank page.
It’s not a complicated story though.
To give you a bare-bones summary, a friend of ours who lives just down the road from us had a wild rooster pheasant fly smack-dab into the side of her house, injuring itself pretty badly in the process. She texted us, and we ended up bringing it home, doctoring it up as best we could, and giving it a nice, quiet place to recuperate.
It died three days later in the pouring rain.
Not a happy ending, unfortunately.
Definitely a “Debbie-Downer”.
But for some reason, I can’t, for the life of me, seem to do the story justice.
I’ve tried coming at it from all sorts of different angles. I’ve tried telling the story light-heartedly (we ended up nicknaming the pheasant “Crash“, after all). But I’ve also tried a more toned-down, introspective approach. I’ve tried detailing our homespun veterinary processes and our half-baked rescue efforts. I’ve tried describing the warmth of holding a living creature in your arms, feeling the magical rhythm of its beating heart. Conversely, I’ve also tried writing about the cold, muddy grave I dug in our orchard after he died.
Heck, I’ve even tried typing out some of the conversations we’ve had with our 4 year old — about deep topics like death and unanswered prayers.
But it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I start typing about it, nothing seems to “click” for me.
Maybe it’s because I feel like I failed.
Maybe it’s because I feel responsible for the pheasant’s death.
Maybe it’s because this experience brings to light many of my own shortcomings and inconsistencies.
I mean, let’s face it, I shoot and kill several pheasants every year without too much heartburn. Why do I feel so bad about this one?
The answers elude me — and unfortunately, so do words. But I guess that’s just life. I’ll get over it.
At the end of the day, this was another adventure. An adventure that touched me. We tried. We failed. We moved on. We enjoyed the experience, and we kept going. I still haven’t quite made sense of it all in my own mind, but that’s okay.
I’m grateful to be able to type about it and tell another story.