08 April 2011

Love Breaks Stone

what cracked open in you when you began (as) a father? 

The question was asked of me back in January, by a reader (hi, TaraDharma!) and it wasn't until earlier this week that I came close to having an answer.  It was a more complex question than appearances would lead one to believe.  Combine that with my propensity to ponder, and you have a response time that makes glaciers look like race cars.

Before I answer it, I have to get historical.  This is really a story of two halves.  The first half involves my twins, whom many of you know passed away shortly after birth back in 2003.  The second half involves the entrance into this world of my beautiful Wee Lass not long after.  These events are the sides of the coin.

When the twins were born I suddenly thought I knew everything there was to know of love, and I was certain it was profoundly different than everything I had experienced up to that point in life.  Such small, lovely beings, frail and imperfect yet beautiful and I wanted nothing more than to hold them and know they were mine.  Life had other designs, and I had to bury two children in less than a month.

To say I was shattered is an understatement.  Death obliterates Love in the figurative blink of an eye, and I'm left wondering what the hell it was all about.  Love made my heart swell; Grief burst it.  I had no time to think about cracking, it happened too fast.  I was broken without understanding.

Pain is a harsh teacher, but learn you will, and I was a keen student.  This explains what happened when my daughter was born, this time on time and under much better circumstances.  I was holding back up until the very last minute.  By that, I mean up until she was safely in the warmer and I was standing there about to cut the cord.  Some of you may recall I wrote about that in this post some time ago.

I realized that I still had so much to learn about love.  I felt myself filling up, a surge of primal energy flooding into every corner of my soul.  I felt it spilling over my borders, soaking the floor, rising to my knees, my neck and over my head.  I was swept away.

This led to further revelations.  I had a deeper understanding of myself and my capacity to love beyond myself.  I knew what it meant to want more for someone else than you want for yourself.  I understood that I was much more capable of love than I ever knew, and I could be again if I just let myself.

The irony of this is that it wasn't enough to save some things, while at the same time opening up other doors.

The further irony is that those doors I couldn't keep open, leaving me with memories and another broken heart.  Sometimes, I think it is more scar than heart.  Broken?  Vaporized is more like it.

So...what cracked open in me when I began as a father? 

I think the hammer against the stone, in this case, was Love.  It broke my heart wide open, scattered it in quantam bits across the universe, and then hinted that those bits would slowly find their way back to one another.  Slowly, that is, against the flood tide of love unleashed from the reservoir I never knew I had.

The river is running free, and a bit wild, but eventually all rivers want to know into what ocean they will flow...the dam is broken, and I don't want to drain away.


  1. What can one say about such a lovely piece of writing, no, more than writing, a glimpse into the simultaneous utter pan and joy that is love and heart.

    "It broke my heart wide open, scattered it in quantam bits across the universe, and then hinted that those bits would slowly find their way back to one another"

    Still sniffling over that Irish. It is like you are writing about my unbloggable for me.

  2. downright beautiful...

    and about those scattered heart bits...
    maybe a piece or two stitch their way, in repair, of another heart.
    you just never know. :)

  3. You weave such an emotional blanket of joy and heartbreak that covers your readers with warmth.

    You have such a gift, my friend.

  4. i think as much love as is pouring out of you, there will still be more to come..you love so fiercely and ferociously, as if it might be taken away, and now I understand a little better as to why...don't grip onto it so tightly IG...it is there and it is real and it will not slip away, so relax into it and let it carry YOU

  5. Like Pseudo said, what can you even say about something like that?

  6. Sup, Gumbo?
    I was looking at birth day vids of my two critters this afternoon. What a perfect time to read this post. I'm newer to 'yer blog, so the news of your twins,...well....no blog comment can convey anything. So just know my thoughts go your way beyond that.
    Love cracked open in me too. We had around 13 nieces and nephews before our first, and I thought I knew what love was. Between my wife and my favorite niece, I really thought I had it covered. Entry my 'lil gal, and that was left WAY behind.
    Thanks for the post. Perfectly timed in my crazy life. Keep on lovin' Gumbo.

    The Cheeky Daddy

  7. thank you for this epically eloquent answer to my question, Irish. Cracked open, indeed. You have been split every which way; in ways I cannot imagine. How does one begin to hope again after the death of children? And now your wee lass says, loudly and clearly, YES to life and love.

    I lost a nephew, born prematurely, lived a week, many many years ago. It was almost unbearable...

  8. Oh...every time I read of this I feel hollow. And I look back on my experiences and know how very blessed I am. Just as you are with the Wee Lass. I wish I had words for you.

    But this: "Sometimes, I think it is more scar than heart." Perhaps a heart can be so constructed...but I also believe the heart regenerates and leaves you with infinite potential for love.


"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...