Leave Room For The Pooka – Alex Mitchell

Leave Room For The Pooka – Alex Mitchell

Leave Room For The Pooka 




Alex Mitchell – Pooka [Detail]


Let me tell you about Elwood.
He’s an easy-going happy-all-the-time kinda guy that thinks every day is a beautiful day. And although that in and of itself is a bit suspicious, trust me when I say that Elwood is not nuts.

Did I mention his best friend Harvey? Harvey is a pooka in the form of a giant six-foot-tall white rabbit. Elwood goes around introducing his good friend Harvey to everybody he meets. And the funny thing is that he’s not the only one that can see Harvey, he’s just the only one not afraid to admit it.

Just in case you’re wondering what a pooka actually is, the word pooka comes from the old Irish púca. It’s just another word for a spirit creature of Irish folklore. It can be malevolent or friendly, quite chatty, and manifests itself in animal form to be seen only by those who believe.

Which is my point, you see, Elwood believes.

Harvey happened into Elwood’s life like a miracle. But not because Elwood was looking for a miracle. Just the opposite is true. Elwood was happy being Elwood. And that is why he could see Harvey in the first place. That is how all wonderful new things come to us in this life. Not because we chase after them, not because we feel we are lacking without them. We find only what we already are.

Elwood’s true self is someone who believes in the magic of pookas.

Well, you may be thinking, that’s all fine and dandy for Elwood. But real life is full of struggles and challenges and heartbreaks. Life is difficult. You can’t go around with your head in the clouds because life is just too damn unpredictable.

You’re absolutely right. And that’s just what I’m getting at. There’s a dream behind Elwood’s reality, behind his way of moving through life. It’s a courageous dream about being true to yourself and feeling safe in an uncertain world. Elwood is living in the moment with an easy heart. And by doing so, he’s not denying life’s difficulties, he’s just choosing to feel safe and happy in the present moment in spite of life’s difficulties.

In spite of. In spite of all the crap going on around you, you can be happy being you.

As scary as it may seem to be so utterly imperfect in an utterly unpredictable world, you can feel safe and good enough as you are, right now in this very moment. No waiting to love yourself until you’ve improved something about you or your life. It’s not about that. It’s about identifying with your true self.

If you think about it, your true self is not the version of you that’s defined by your name, age, gender, race, or job. It’s not the version of you others want you to be, nor does it depend on being busy and successful.

It’s the you that loves being alive. Just like Elwood. And in his life there’s room for Harvey.

So, what do you say, is there room for a pooka in your life?

it seems to me
that if I wasn’t
so busy being busy
and so tired of being tired

that maybe
I’d remember
how much
I love
being alive

and just bask
in that knowing
for a moment or two



Alex Mitchell

Nov. 15, 2018



For more information about the stage play and movie “Harvey,” check out my article:
Leave Room For The Pooka – Revisiting «Harvey» And Rethinking The Story Of You