Respect the Heart Shell

I returned from vacation at 2 am Tuesday morning.  What a shock to go back to work Wednesday – the contrast of being outside hiking in the woods daily in North Carolina, with now being in my windowless office – is deep.

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During the trip, and a short time prior, I was beginning to work on my opening my heart.  Sounds cheesy, trust me I know.  I have been emotionally numb and stuck for a long time and have recently wanted that to change for various reasons.  I started looking for something – a book, a group – anything to help.  What showed up was a class on opening the heart, which I signed up for and attended a few days before my trip.  Nothing striking there, but it began a slightly different thought process.  Since returning I have noticed that perhaps focusing on my heart has moved something, just a little.  Being in the green lush mountains has healed, perhaps a smidge.  The thing I’ve really come to understand is that my heart is encased in a hard shell for a reason – when it’s ready to crack it will.  When I heal and am ready to move forward, I will.

I haven’t talked to my kids for awhile – and really don’t feel a thing about that.  I have not made any attempt to repair my relationship with my mother – and am not sure it’s my job.  I do not have any contact with my family right now – feels fine.  Nice actually – no guilt trips.  I believe I’ll  just sit here awhile.

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Fragile Balloon Heart

While in another town, several hours away with my (wonderful) boyfriend for a concert on v-day, I saw the woman pictured below at a stoplight. It’s a little hard to tell how incredibly sad and tragic she looked from the picture. Valentines day evening, she is standing alone on a corner being assaulted by 30 mph winds, that given her appearance should have blown her away. Skinny as a rail, very old and weathered, wearing an over-sized, hooded Carhart and holding a red heart-shaped helium filled balloon down by her waist. She was either waiting for a ride or the bus, hard to tell.

I keep thinking about that heart balloon. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could just remove said heart (you know, the emotion part) and hold it at arms length, observing it. I’ve spent the last week in a constant ache from self inflicted worry, fear and loathsome self conscious angst for no reason in particular. If only I could have removed the damn thing and looked at it from a different perspective I think it would have been much less painful. Like that woman, standing there all alone with her fragile heart and balloon on v-day. I assumed she was pitiful, but really I’ve been the depressing and unfortunate one unable to take a step back and look at pain without marinating in it.

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