12 July 2010


On the horns, yeah? You know how that feels, I'm sure. A human condition, although the struggle to feel human can be long and difficult. This I know; hopefully, you do not. I generate intense heat and smoke in the effort, yet not enough light.

I am in combat with myself. A declaration of war wrought by the hole punched in my heart.

The struggle is to contain that which spews forth, this dark and viscous matter congealed inside the soft pressure vessel I call my soul. Icy tendrils of panic curl around an overheated brain as the implications rear their ugly heads. Thoughts and questions and doubts tainting the water.  Racing to cover it, contain it, before it spreads and befouls the beautiful and the innocent who should not suffer the consequences of my internal strife.

Writing from what I know...but what if all I know appears to be sadness and melancholy? Why would anyone want to be near this broken well? I lay on my couch this morning, staring at the ceiling and thinking "What would happen if I wrote that which was truly in my heart?" How much life would be choked out, how much sand on the rim of my ocean would be stained near to ruin? My heart, pouring out the liquid memory of flora and fauna crushed long ago and in a different time.

Useful, perhaps, if contained and directed with focused intelligence. Poisonous if left to its own devices, with no control over its flow and heading.

What can I make of this, my heart? A broken and bleeding vessel I occasionally show to the world and hope that it is received with respect, if not affection; hoping to be shown without being abused, at least. This time, it is different. This time, I am afraid of something I cannot articulate. I am afraid of what would happen if I were to let loose the things that reside in my heart, because there is no guarantee of reestablishing control. I'm not even sure why I am writing this at this moment, other than to state that I feel I must. The analogy of the relief well comes to mind, and I can only hope this reduces the pressure until I figure it out.

I closed my eyes this morning, laying on the couch. Behind the lids, in the dark, I could see the plume curling like a taloned fist. A color-enhanced photograph shot from space and used as a prop in a video warning of the damages caused by pollution...but in this case, the ocean is shaped like me.


  1. Respect? Immense. Affection? If I may.

    I hate that you are going through this, and maybe it is as you say, the relief well. Methinks you are indeed an ocean, deep and rich with life. One of these days, the waters will be clearer, skies brighter. I don't know if it helps to know you have many people in the Blogosphere who hold you in great esteem and, yes, affection, but it's true.


  2. If I'm reading this right, I was there about 6 years ago. Your heart will heal, little by little. The wee one will help tremendously.

  3. "this dark and viscous matter congealed inside the soft pressure vessel I call my soul" - this was really the most outstanding part of this entire piece. WOW!
    That aside, I believe that hearts heal. From whatever natural diaster, they heal, if we let them :)

  4. I've pondered long the reasons we meet here...why we write, why we read. Companionship? Recognition? Comfort? I've come to think of my soul as the lake behind the dam. Letting off pressure keeps the wall from shattering. Balance.

    Company does not dispel lonliness. But somehow, here in these verbal mists...knowing that you're not alone, and yet unjudged...helps.

    Lovely piece. Achingly lovely.

  5. I wonder what is the worst possible thing that might happen if you let loose the things that reside in your heart? And then, what is the realistic probability that this very bad thing might occur?

    Take a chance, let it out. Moving through that fearful place might be beneficial. But what do I know?

  6. Agreed with Shruthi... and (but?) sometimes that (paradoxically) is the hardest part, at least for me. Was it Coupland that wrote "We are all amnesia machines"? Letting go is hard... even when it's stuff we know that we're better off losing.

    I think part of my difficulty is sometimes that I don't know what I really want to let go of.

    Another relevant OTR (heh... sorry, but it fits!) Etcetera Whatever

    Also - and slightly related - I became enamored of the word and concept of 'authenticity' a while back. Too many people were going around touting how everyone's own individual perspective was inviolable and valid, and it sort of irked me, because sometimes it was used to say that there's no fact/reality, just everyone's equally-correct take on such things. And that struck me as wrong; it seemed to me to elevate feelings to a level of reliability they don't deserve.

    While people's feelings DO matter and ARE real... they're also nearly always transient. And too often I've found that I *feel* as though my emotions are so rich and vivid and intense that they'll never change, while I simultaneously *know* that they absolutely will be different later... whether I like it or not.

    The valuable thing then, I think, is to be *authentic*. If I'm having a feeling, it helps immensely if I identify and admit it... even if only to myself. It allows it to *be*, in the here and now, without giving any credence to the desperation or panic that results from the idea that it might always be that way.

    And if I have something to offer - either for my own benefit or someone else's - I guess I believe it's best to do so. In the moment, as authentically as possible. Every expression is not going to be carved in stone and expected to remain, any more than the pressure under the well will always remain. Sooner or later, to borrow your metaphor, we are back in control and have to choose whether to man the pumps or cap it off.

    One more OTR lyric snippet (from Here It Is):

    "....The leaves on the oak tree
    Hold on through the winter
    They’re brown and they're brittle
    They clatter together

    I can’t seem to let go
    I’m so scared of losing
    The deeper the love goes
    The deeper the bruising

    The trouble with talking
    Is it makes you sound clever
    The trouble with waiting
    Is you’ll just wait forever

    There’s a loop of excuses
    That plays in your mind
    And makes the truth
    Even harder to find..."

    I don't know if any of that is useful to you, or even makes any sense, but your quandary sounds ever so very familiar.

    Pie. Dude, pie helps. ;)

  7. @Miscelena: What you said - Word.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...