My dear heart,
About a year ago, you whispered some truths to me about the place I was in. In fact, you’d be whispering to me for a long time but I just didn’t (want to) hear you. Finally, you bellowed a shriek so loud and long that I had to listen. I changed course and chose a different place to be.
For that, I am so grateful.
In that one year, you have kept right on beating. Through the bleak, dank moments of sadness and through the clear, hopeful moments of seeing joy again, you’ve beat as steady as you can and allowed me to breathe, wake, sleep and feel.
On the nights I have lain awake thinking thinking thinking, feeling until it hurts all over again, you beat—fast and heavy enough to let me know it’s time to stop thinking so hard. You reminded me to slow it right down and go back to just breathing, resting.
Then, on the days that were still and quiet, when there was only a big wash of sunlight and a clear sky, you beat gently, like a purring, just enough to let me know that it’s good to be alive after all.
Sometimes, when it all got too much and I didn’t know where I’d go or what I’d do; when it was all I could do to just breathe, it was you, heart, that reminded me that whether I liked it or not, I was still here and I could be stronger than I thought. You whispered to me that you were still here too—a strong heart with many millions of beats left in you. Would I snuff you out, when there was still so much to do and see and learn and feel and love?
You’ve given me the truths that I have known all along. As the center of that special, deep-seated intuition, you’ve kept me connected, grounded and alert to the things I’ve most needed to know in this new course of healing and discovery. Because of this, you have helped me feel all the good and the bad: when it’s time to be angry (and that it’s okay to feel it), and when it’s time to laugh and let go, laugh and live. You’ve helped me feel human again—and that is plenty.
You store all my memories, keeping safe all the little things that I forget until one day, they reappear—a friend, a letter, a song—and all the best things come back like I’m right there with it happening all over again. Your capacity for remembering is tremendous and each time you remind me of the infinitely wonderful things that I have had the privilege to love and experience, it’s like you drop me a miracle. There it is: miracles right in the very core of me, every single day.
Thank you for keeping every part of my physical body alive. Because of you, drumming away in my chest,
I can read magnificent books and wonder at the world’s infinite capacity to tell stories
I can write and receive letters from old friends who have tumbled back into my life and reminded me of how much I have to love and be loved
I can kiss the top of my dog’s velvety head and let him take me for a walk
I can dance around my room in my underwear, thinking of nothing for a full hour, but the beat of my own limbs
I can eat oranges and cake and sandwiches
I can fill up my ears with songs, made of lyrics to give me courage and sounds to keep me warm
I can laugh, express, cry, feel feel feel
Because of you, dear heart, beating away like a silent, loyal soldier, I can do anything, or everything, or nothing at all. And for that, I am always grateful.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise