I've been listening to Van Morrison in the car lately. If you're in the mood to feel spiritual or vaguely enlightened, Van's your man. Not so much the "Brown-Eyed Girl" Van as the "Astral Weeks" Van. In fact, "Astral Weeks" was one of the cds I brought into the delivery room with me when Jack was born. I liked very much the thought of my newborn child coming into the world on the strains of "Cypress Avenue" or "Sweet Thing."
Today I was listening to a somewhat more recently minted Van, and as we pulled into the driveway, Jack leaned forward and asked, "Is he singing 'inarticulate fish of the heart?' Because if he is, I don't get it."
I explained to Jack that no, Van was singing "inarticulate speech of the heart," not "inarticulate fish of the heart." But you know what? I very much like the idea of an inarticulate fish of the heart. I find it filled with all sorts of metaphorical possibilities, not to mention a boatload of charm.
Is there is an inarticulate fish in your heart? What do you suppose he'd say if he could only articulate it? Would he say something about love, how he always knows when your beloved has walked into the room, the way your heart pounds so loud he can't hear a thing?
I checked YouTube for a video of Van Morrison singing "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart;" unfortunately I couldn't find a good version. But if you wanted to hear Van the Man sing that most beautiful song "Cypress Avenue," you sure could. Oh, my goodness, it will do your soul good. Yeah, my tongue gets tied every time I try to speak, Van sings, and the inarticulate fish of my heart nods his head, because he knows exactly what Van means.