i've been wondering about how many pieces of it i can afford to leave. how many fragments is each heart made of? because each bit has a heart string attached, which pulls on what is left inside of me. this stretches me in multiple directions at once, making movement in any direction a certain hyperextension of the heart.
lately i've been wondering how much of this i can take. what is the line between chiseling away for proper defining of our shape and going over the capacity of fissures that causes the whole sculpture (that is each of us) to crumble into dust? but, i also know i can't take the pieces back either. they were seeds from the start, fallen on fertile soil. they eagerly took root. they've already become saplings.
i've been thinking that i don't remember giving permission for my heart to do this. i don't remember chipping off a morsel of myself and putting my own hands in the soil to bury it in the ground where i long to linger in myself. it seems unfair that the piece is able to remain when i have to leave. i'm not selfless enough to willingly let it do so and to then suffer from jealously.
lately i've been wondering: wouldn't it be better if, right before we had to leave something good, it became a nightmare instead? if all those our hearts become firmly affixed to could become monsters, so repulsive we can't get away fast enough? or at least malicious jerks who burn our favorite books, cut down old growth forests, and break our legs so we can never hike again (insider information - if you want to be a malicious jerk to me, this is how to do it). what if the places we'd found a sense of self in suddenly became a burning building we had to run from, were being singed by? if such places suddenly felt like an alien planet, void of oxygen, and with a very heavy sense of gravity? wouldn't that be nice? wouldn't that be easier?
instead, these people and places become ghosts, sweetly haunting the edges of our chipped and fissured heart. both a sorrow and a solace. because, although our longing thoughts of them are a transparent reminder and poor replacement of the real deal, such thoughts are also a means of tracing our fingertips on the wound marking that which was hard to let go of, that which part of us remains attached to. it becomes a talisman permanently burned into us so we can reach to it for pain (which is really a kind of courage) no matter where we are.
lately, i can see these left behind pieces as a sort of bread crumb trail, that traces the journey from where we once were to where we are now. there is sense of fortification there, a safety net, an exit strategy. we know we could follow our heart strings back to each piece until we are at our beginning. even if we never do this (or only do it just briefly) the mere knowing it is an option is enough to keep our heart together.
lately, i'm thankful that i have people and places that are hard to leave. i'm wondering if perhaps our whole life is learning how to adjust to the reshaping of our heart as we leave bits of it behind, or as others take bits of it with them when they go. maybe all the heart strings attached to those pieces are one big tapestry that is the story of how our life is interwoven with others. the stretching of thread is something painful as we go, and seems a mess at the start, but the pattern is becoming something well defined and beautiful, just imperceptibly.
how lucky i am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
- a. a. milne