The human heart has four chambers. Blood moves in, and is propelled out. This simple, reliable mechanism sustains us, though I don’t know how it holds all we ask it to.
I imagine mine with 72 tumultuous chambers, and sparks and light swirling all around. And in this place, there are two workers. One pours something important, from a bucket she can barely manage, right down into a hole in the top. The other carries a needle and thread, and spends her time evaluating which small ruptures to repair, mending the most treacherous first. Sometimes she’s not sure where to go, every place calling to her at once. Steady. Life is like that.
She’s judicious, lest she stay too long where the Sorrow pushes through. Experience casts her now to other places, even more likely to break. Play, Passion, Curiosity, and Seeking – of new understanding, new places, new ideas. She sees overflow of my hopes and dreams – for myself, my children, all people. Ah, The bright spot – my children, my children.
Voracious hunger for Nature. Never, ever full, and therefore likely to collapse at any moment. Everyone I’ve ever loved. All the animals ever entrusted to me. My penchant for helping, and the sweet heaviness that spills from that. My husband. Oh my husband. The Beauty and Vastness and Suffering of the whole entire planet.
Every one of my mistakes. Victories. Abundance, grace, gratitude. Indignation and existential fury – feminism, civil rights, and unfairness in all its insufferable, inextinguishable forms. The hard squeeze of griefs – long held and those yet to come. Art. Fear.
All there, and more. There’s no way to stop the push and strain and intermittent purging, sometimes nothing more than feathers bursting skyward, and momentary relief. Other times – the immeasurable draining of heavy sand, down, down, cascading down until there is a lightness I can barely feel before it’s full again. And in the middle? Something like sludge. Endless, repetitious. Tiresome on bad days, comforting on good days.
We must stay humble. The raw beauty of even the most mundane thing taken in holds color. Nod to the choreography. Embrace the mending and the tending. Befriend the monotony. We must all learn to breathe the moments of release.