Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 207: The Condition of My Heart

I'm part of a 30-day grief writing course.  Today's writing is in response to a prompt.

I closed my eyes and asked my heart
to show itself. Show yourself to me.  A
beating vessel held gently in my hand,
perhaps. A glowing orb in my chest.

Imagine my disappointment when I
saw this: a vast desert. Dry, cracked
earth. A tattered and spiky tumbleweed
being carried across the land by the wind.

Touching down to the dusty ground and
becoming airborne again, my heart was
flying wildly out there in the desert heat.
Twisted and bare, my heart was flying

wildly. I ask to see my heart and I'm given
the image of a bundle of prickly weeds
catapulting through nothing at all. This.
This is my heart? How little I know of

myself. Also knowing very little about
tumbleweeds, I decided to research-
to learn about my heart in the form of a
tumbleweed. What was my heart doing

out there in the desert? And I learn. My
heart is the structural part of my once
above-ground anatomy. In the before it
was connected to me. Connected to Gareth.

And everyone saw it this way. When Gareth
died, my heart matured too quickly. My heart
dried. Unsure of what was feeding it, my heart
detached itself from its root, from me, and 

began tumbling wildly. The tissues of my
heart are dead, I learn. The tissues of my 
heart are dead. It is a functional death.
functional death? My heart, like a tumbleweed,

knows exactly what it is doing. It is
necessary for this tumbleweed, my
heart, to degrade gradually. To fall
so completely apart that the propagules

can escape during the tumbling. My heart
has propagules. How little I knew! I learn
of the propagules in my tumbleweed heart.
I learn of their one goal: to propagate an

organism (me) to the next stage in its life
cycle. I learn that I am being propogated.
I learn of my life cycle. I am my own parent
organism. Mind blown. And how do these

propagules get out and do their job? Only
by escaping as my heart detaches itself and
tumbles wildly through a vast space. I am
tumbling through the vast space of grief and

my heart is intent on surviving. Creating
again. Parenting itself. I learn that my heart,
like the tumbleweed, will eventually come
to rest in a wet location. It will be thirsty.

It will be parched, in fact. But when it
finally meets water after its jarring journey,
I learn my heart will swell again. It will absorb
the water around it and once again it will swell.

In this full state, in this nourished state,
my heart-my tumbleweed heart- will open
mechanically and release its seeds. I learn that
my dry, tumbleweed of a heart still has seeds.

I am not dead.

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