Monday, April 09, 2007

The Winter In Your Heart

During one particularly awful Detroit winter, I drove down a street and saw a church sign that really put me in a snit. It was cold as all billy hell, nearing spring, that time when it seems as if winter is all there had ever been and all that would ever be. The sign read, What are you going to do about the winter in your heart? Not a damn thing, I thought, my knuckles white on the steering wheel from gripping it so tightly. My heart had become deadened with so much loss that year -- deaths of people I loved and a broken relationship, the perpetual stresses of work, my tendencies for being overextended still at an all-time high. The winter in my heart? Try heart disease, try ulcers, try heartsick, heartless. I'd chosen numb over suicidal, zombie over psychotic apparition, nothing over pain. If I could, I'd have stayed in that winter forever.
But spring always comes, and even now it chills me a little to enter into it, all that memory and desire. It's such a young season and being young was so not my strong suit. Your heart thaws whether you like it or not. You turn from the remembrances of the dead to the joy of the living, and that's not always a good thing. You see signs that make you want to turn around and go back. There is no going back, though, only the relentless push into an uncertain future in which you may be reborn or self-destruct. As when you are young, you do get to choose a few things by yourself.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"As we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in." Parker J. Palmer
Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Female Trouble Antonya Nelson
Benedictions and Maledictions
My dear friend Stacey had a brilliant story published in a journal recently. Congratulations, Stacey! Click here to read --
Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a good Easter. The Pistons won, The Sopranos aired -- who needs the big bunny with eggs?


Bobby "Bacala" Baccalieri said...

I thought it would just be a friendly game of Monopoly, but Tony Soprano upset me. Maybe the booze made me over-react.

Phil Leotardo said...

That fat pig Tony Soprano hasn't heard the last of me.

Tony Soprano said...

I love the new assault weapon I got for my birthday.

Charles Gramlich said...

This makes me think of one of my favorite titles of all time, from a Karl Edward Wagner story. "Reflections for the Winter of my soul."

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Hey, Michelle, it looks like you've got your wings there in that photo. Did it hurt, if you know what I mean, when you fell down from heaven?

the walking man said...

Is there seasons to the heart, a never ending repetition of cold, thaw, heat and cooling back to cold. Or is the heart the time traveler that looks back and fore but rarely to the now?

To the only moment in life of any import, the only moment when the heart truly learns is the heartbeat of the moment.

Are you allowed to be a zombie, a psychotic overworked being feeling nothing? Yes you are because that is the feeling of the heart of the moment. Do the feelings change? For some sooner as opposed to later but time moves forward and with the movement goes the heart to see new things, experience new things. But the one thing it can never do is experience youth once it has given it up.

Personally I went through a decade (the 80's) where no good thing happened to me, divorce, deaths, job losses and then job hassles, that never seemed to end, even coming together with the old lady in the mid 80's never stopped it. Tell me is it my fortune to always wind up with the short end?

It sure as fuck seemed like it and even today there is no great thing other than my heart still gives me youth, even though I am well past prime time. times, times, angry and full of times, spiritual and able to look through to another's times. White knuckling a steering wheel...never.

I was in an accident, pretty serious 04/02 that caused me to begin to walk down a road that I have been down before, a never ending series of Doctors, tests and treatments and my beloved Poetry in Motion is dead and my freedom of movement is now gone because of that, not to mention I very well may be charged with driving under the influence of prescription medications and all of the ramifications of attorney's, court, and the results of it all.

But there is nothing I can do other than what I have done, Poetry in Motion is going to become an organ donor, a jobless person is going to get her new heart that had less than 9k miles on it for the cost of labor, I am going to get my $500 mini tort claim for the destruction of my vehicle and wait moment by moment for the toxicology reports to come back and clear me or convict me and send me down another path as well that I have traveled; the court thing.

Yet in the end I am and will be The Walking Man, a child of peace and one who will endure as will you my friend, everything that comes your way because holy words are not able to rest upon a heart for words are nothing. Holiness is in the heart well before it is broken or it is not there at all, this is the only choice of consequence a person can make. To accept the right to be evil, or good and all that goes with that decision.

for me I am and will continue to be what I have been since the first day we met (a day I consider to my fortune)just me, a human.

paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

Or how about, in my case, you're too dumb to know any better when you're young; It's full throttle ahead, damn the torpedo. Now I got to read this story you're telling me about. Hope your Easter went well.

Melvis Presley said...

Get this published glossy if you can, m! It's up there with your best. Clean up/delete a couple little lines (you know which ones they are). Not even whole lines. Just two little parts where the tension gets released a little early. Excellent short.
Sweet pic.

Jason said...

Honestly, whats with the aluminum foil?

Melvis Preseley said...

What IS with the foil?