After the wedding I was on a photographic roll. I took my camera up East Rock to give it some fresh air, and to see how the autumn leaves looked from up there--glorious, as it turns out. I took a bunch of pictures, and they're pretty enough, but they don't communicate the experience of being there. Even if I were to post the pix with pretentious allusive captions like
you still wouldn't get the effect. Maybe if I were a better photographer I would be able to capture the way the leaves seemed to be lit from within rather than from above. But as it is, even telling you directly what the experience was like for me--how the crinkled-tinfoil river and the spicy smell of fallen leaves and the lift and rush of the wind made my heart into a bird that was beating its wings against the cage of my chest--won't make you feel what I felt.
I've been thinking a lot recently about how to use words to communicate experience. It's possible that I'd be farther ahead just now if I were to think about using words to write my gosh-darn dissertation.