My Fragile Heart

In my not-so-tiny city, I have been so blessed to build a not-so-tiny chosen family. I have scores of older brothers I never wanted, big sisters to swap closets with, little brothers who show up on my door and leave with packed healthy lunches for the week to prove to their real mothers that they are actually eating green things, and the older artists in my life that have become almost “on-site” parents, aunts, or uncles when my real parents are scattered across the country .

I had tea with two the other day. I had met her briefly working on a show and when they were in a pinch several months later she hired me to stage manage for her husband. We laugh still about how she hadn’t really known me before that project and had unwittingly unleashed me on him. He wasn’t expecting someone who could out sarcasm him in the rehearsal hall. Now I’m the first stage manager he calls and we’ve all become close friends.

Like the good aunties they are, the conversation turns to my love life and any boys that may need a good scaring. (If I’m lacking, they always know a few good boys…)

I explain my current long distance intercultural situation.

He is drumming his fingers on the table by the time I finish. I don’t even bother to ask, I raise an eyebrow instead.

He tells me to be careful. He doesn’t like the sound of where this might lead, not because of the cross-cultural part, but because without full support from both families, we don’t have an end date to the distance, there isn’t a happy ending in sight for us, not yet. Though we’re working on it. I am reminded that my heart is fragile, more fragile than I know. Just because I have survived heartbreak in the past, doesn’t mean I should be okay with the potential or likelihood of experiencing it again. I should never have to go through that pain again and again – like he did. It almost ruined him. His wife agrees. She watched heartbreak almost kill him. They tell me to be careful.

If I can see the brick wall ahead, why am I driving 90 miles an hour straight into it?

Heartbreak and the shattering grief will change you. He says. Love isn’t always worth it.

Which while I understand the sentiment, I know he comes from a place of love and care, and I recognize what he is saying,

I completely disagree.

Maybe he’s right, that this relationship I have will end in heartbreak because of the challenges we face. Maybe a broken heart is the ending I have to look forward to in all of this.

But the world has never been a worse place for love put into it.

And a broken heart heals with time and love. They are proof of the love I am surrounded by, if I am broken I will heal.

If I am changed, it will be for the better. I will be stronger.

My heart has been broken before. In the gasping sobs, breakdowns out of the blue, can barely eat for days, years worth of scars and healing, kind of broken. It took two years and contractually obligated communication before we could be in the same room together peaceably, kind of broken.

But I wouldn’t change a thing. The bad days do not negate the good. I would not give up the mountaintop picnics and smuggled wine to be spared the tears and anguish later.

I will not step back and deny my heart the joy it has found in this person, in order to protect it from what may come.

The odds are stacked against us, it is likely that this ends with my heart in pieces again.

But I would not lose a moment of this love just to be spared the pain later on.

Suffering is a part of life, aren’t we so lucky when we find something worth suffering for?

xoxo

Faith

I was spoken for,

I told you no.

As the hope drained out of your eyes,

I felt regret tinge in my heart.

I wondered if you saw it.

 

Then I was just me.

You knew but didn’t say.

You stayed my friend,

my support,

my rock.

Because you knew.

Your faith was stronger than my doubts,

Stronger than my indecision,

Stronger than me.

You had faith in me and my heart.

You had given me yours, without asking for more.

You had faith I would realize,

I would hand you my heart in time.

You were right.

And I envied your faith.

Your faith in me

Your faith in God

Your faith in love

Your faith in miracles.

A faith I had never had,

But I started to learn it from you.

For it took faith to hand you my heart,

before you left me for good.

To trust that even over 8,000 miles,

you were keeping it close, keeping it safe.

And to have faith

that despite the obstacles,

I would see you again.

The days are long.

The distance is hard.

The space between us sometimes seems

insurmountable.

But you taught me faith.

And it is your heart that beats in my chest

to remind me,

that sometimes you just have to close your eyes

and jump.

The Stars

The night falls like a comforter pulled up and over the sun.
A lazy slow night as the light fades away. Another day gone.
One by one, the stars slowly began to emerge and light the path home.
He sent us
They seemed to say to me in their twinkling.
Daylight broke and we were no longer needed there.
So he sent us to you, he who cannot walk you home, has sent us to guide and keep you safe.
Another day passed over from around the globe.
A gift to you from your lover who stands in the rising sun
to send you the moon and stars
who greets them every evening to ask;
is she well?
The moon and the stars are my guides and my love,
until the day I can follow them home to you.

Home That Was

What is the word for home

that is no longer “home”?

No longer a base, a fortress

or a regular destination.

But once, it was.

It was

Where your dreams were planted

and your life was

changed, once and again, and again,

shaped and molded and pushed and prodded,

challenged and changed.

The place that was once your sanctuary

and is now…

what?

Quiet.

A place of memories, old familiarities.

New faces, new storefronts, new routines.

New. Different. Changed.

But yet the same.

Same blinking stop light, same broken harbor, bridge under construction.

It once was home.

Now?

A place of myth, nostalgia, the place that was,

A placebo, a pattern, a reflex.

Home that was.

The salt air smells the same.

Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful

I don’t care.

Tell me I’m brilliant,

Tell me I frighten you,

Tell me something about my

eyes that isn’t lovely.

Or better yet,

Don’t.

Tell me how you notice that I notice

everything.

Tell me you love watching me work,

watching my mind untangle the knots

and people I wrangle daily.

Don’t tell me I’m sexy in cargo shorts,

That my headset hair is hot.

Haven’t you noticed?

I don’t care.

I don’t want to be beautiful.

I don’t care about pretty.

Anyone can be pretty.

Beauty is not a thing to achieve,

is not what I have worked so hard for,

it is not what I want.

And the more you tell me I’m

beautiful,

before you tell me I’m

brave,

The less I want it.

The less I want you.

I Am Not Made For Poetry

I am not made for poetry.

My prose will not break down to pieces,

hit the rhythm just right, to hell with rhyme.

The abstract, the limerick, it does nothing for me.

Couplets annoy me and the words are never quite… so

how then do you measure the beatings of a human heart

that races as you approach?

I have no clever witticisms for the color of your eyes

or the color of my warming face. Is there a word for

the color of the space between us? I would call it a

lonely, empty, a translucent shade of gray

keeping a chaste space between our colorful lives.

What a rainbow we would make. Or a rich earthy

brown set for our seeds to grow.

What seeds would we lay? A love and future? A wild growth

of our shared lines of a madman and a lady with a pen.

Quite a garden for characters like us. What stories we could write.

But not poetry.

No, I was not built for poetry.

The Moment Before

Have you ever noticed the night sky at that breath before dawn? What was black and endless has been shot through with the first hint of day break. It’s not black at all, a moody rolling purple, a navy blue, a slow olive green. The green overtakes and lightens the mood. The world is holding its breath before dawn. The spices and flour float from the bakery below. A world of stillness, rolling color, and sugar. For a moment we are suspended in time. The romantic dreams of the night hover as a fog around us, just solid and fuzzy enough to slip back into. The daylight has not yet broken us. The magic of the night still wraps its woolen arms around us. The world collectively holds its breath for one last moment.

Then a train whistle breaks the quiet. The green has lightened to gold, the dark lingering purples are beaten back and the world begins to stir. A chapter is ending as we brush the sleep and dreams from our eyes and begin our march into reality once more. A world is fading with the last stubborn star in the dawn sky.

But another story is just beginning.