I am cheating a bit in today’s blog post. I am posting an old piece of writing. This writing appeared in me at a silent writing and meditation workshop with Natalie Goldberg in 2001. The writing did more than just appear. It inspired a series of drawings that became a show. And it told me what my work is for the rest of my life. Love. Draw. Write.
There was a nurse who, through a friend, asked if she could have a copy of this writing. I delayed answering, and delayed, and delayed, and never did reply. I regret this now. I have forgotten her name.
Whoever you are, wherever you are now, I am sending this out for you. I hope you see it, print it off, share it if you wish. I am sorry I never replied and shared this with you. My heart was not big enough then. It is now.
Everything I Know About the Human Heart
What do I know about the human heart? It’s far too fragile and much too big and it gets too heavy sometimes. It knows how to sing the sweetest songs, and it knows how to be black and hard.
The human heart. I’ve read it in books, so slowly in words that my heart almost stops. I’ve heard it in music, fast and joyous, quiet, graceful, full and empty.
The human heart. We all have one, though for some people I know I’d dispute that fact.
The human heart. Cupid sends arrows and we fall and we bleed and out of that comes love and sometimes sorrow and sometimes only fear.
The human heart. I know that it loves sunny days at the end of September and cold nights in February. I know that it cosies round other hearts and looks for the half of itself that it knows someone has. My husband carries half my heart and I carry his. We’ve traded you see, so that I can feel what he feels and he knows what I know, and we get mad sometimes because the other is holding a little too tight or got careless and left our heart somewhere for a while.
What I know about the human heart. I gave part of mine to my son at his birth, no, even before when I saw him move across the skin of my belly. I gave him part, or he took it perhaps, but when he was born it went with him. And he holds it with him everywhere and he doesn’t always know that, but I know and he’ll be safe with it.
What do I know about the human heart? I know that it rises and falls as the sun. I know that each one I love will take a piece of mine when they leave. And I’ll cry and I’ll ache and I’ll dream and I’ll bring out the glue pot and the red paper and cut myself a bigger heart this time, so there’s more of it left when another one leaves.
I know that my heart lies open some days when I see all the world huge like beauty. I know that my heart gets small and leaves me some days, when I anger and rage and leave hard footprints on the floor. And I know my heart weeps sometimes in my sleep because my pillow lies wet in the morning.
September 14, 2001, Hollyhock, Cortes Island
Mentioned in this post:
Natalie Goldberg http://nataliegoldberg.com