Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open Heart

October 20

A smattering of voices come to me this morning as I think about practice.

Just after I wrote the last entry, the therapist asked if I had ever used the Metta prayer. Funny how that works. She asked if I had tried saying it for parts of myself… I said I had been saying it for my heart – “what does that mean?” she said… of course, she didn’t mean to say, you have two terminal degrees in writing, you should know better than to use a word like heart.

Maybe I meant specifically the part that has always been vulnerable. The child-raw – the accepting – the needing -- the part we reach open to the sky.

The part that has been tied to something that is not tied to me.

A friend said he’d been reading. That friend had a heart attack not terribly long ago. Dearest Jon, may your heart be healthy… and Elizabeth. The hearts I have most worried about in my life – for their proximity to air. Heart opening. Open heart. When Elizabeth had surgery I sobbed…

I have been thinking a lot about what it takes to move something into the past. Scalpels and broken beliefs… I suppose they are the falls. Sweet teacher always says to embrace fall – to push yourself until you fall…

But there is a place too, where we can become cavalier – where we can not respect ourselves or our own fragility…

On Tortola once, when I was about 17, there was a tremendous storm. I love Caribbean storms.  The force – the way everything stops – the sound and the nature.

But that year the sea took two German tourists. They were walking on the rocks. No one felt all that bad for them – no one knew them – it was just so stupid.

Pose until you fall – but make sure your risk is in check.

There is a thing about poets – the history of women poets who look like me – and the craziness thereof – Plath and her unhealed beauty and brilliance…

A friend said to me once “can’t you play with that edge… see how close to crazy you can get and write from there…” I know the force of this ocean. He is a tourist.

I guess I am thinking about all the different ways to fall. Isn’t that all we do – test limitations…

But there is no question when they are exceeded. When a living thing has been cut into.

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