poetry

The Very Near Death Of A Holy Heart And The Solitude of Knowing. {poetry}

Wrapping myself into the quiet night of my dreams,
and snuffing the raw brilliance of my oh-so-silent screaming,
I,
one day,
long ago,
left my star-filled night.

I pulled up the covers and turned down the lights.
I grew cold near winter’s edge,
realizing I’d never made myself
that holy pledge,
of crystal clear truth,
from heartbeat to Shakti-root.

Instead I left my most vital part under the hedge,
to die,
the very near death of a holy heart.
That is the sad and beautiful truth,
of how I left it.
Somewhere, in the middle of nowhere.

There, under that brambly, bushy hedge,
I lay myself down.
My ear pressed in on the cushy ground,
listening so clearly, so near to my abandoned treasure.
There, where it was cold and damp and withering,
I could hear its homing rhythm beating.
And in the stillest stillness,
I heard its secrets, whispering to me.

The burying wasn’t hard to do,
the ground was hummus-y and wet with dew.
And it wasn’t very big at all,
but condensed and compressed,
quite small.
I placed it in a box made of fabrics,
of tattered lace and scattered clouds,
amongst scribbled pages, notes and drawings,
so many long forgotten dreams.
All stuffed together,
without any visible edges or seams.

I left it alone,
but I didn’t forget it.
On rare occasions I’d remind myself to check it.
When I did, I’d be pleasantly shocked by its visceral quality,
its odd shape and grotesque coloring,
pulsing with a beat that was slowly,
slowing.

One day, not too long ago,
I had a sudden feeling like a letting go.
I still could sense my small chesty organ,
I still could feel it calling.

When I dug it up though,
I no longer felt that same fascination.
Instead, there were sharp pains, words and witnessing,
too much to feel again.
But unlike the child of nine or ten,
I felt more grown up now,
and more like a mother to my childlike heart.

In my hands,
dark purply-red,
bloodstained,
surely not dead —
but half-alive and glistening.
My tears were the weeping,
the bleeding, and the desperate needing.

At emotion’s crescendo,
it seemed to stop.
A last beat,
and a bugle’s horn,
droning out long and low from underneath.
I felt a deep sigh, a relief.
Actually it seemed like a most natural death,
beating the last beat like a last dying breath.
No more feelings, no more pain.
I hoped I could go on without it,
and not ever think of it again.

But I was wrong about death.
And I was wrong about neglect and ignorance,
innocence and breath.

Whatever was left there
was ripening —
ripening in moonlight, ripening under the ground,
ripening in the mouths of the ones
who don’t make a sound.
The ones who draw their ancient breath,
from some place we haven’t seen yet.

I learned that this is what happens with hearts that need to be buried,
and souls that have gotten too heavy and weary:

they sleep, they grieve, they weep and they weave.
They crack and they hurt wide open.
They nourish the ground,
moving and shifting,
they listen and grow.

They let what lies down,
lie down in the ground.
They let what takes knowing,
the time and space,
and the darkness —
the solitude of knowing.

I used to think I was so unique in my experiences. Yet I buried my heart and lived with a half-heart for most of my life. I think everyone must bury their heart at some point and walk around with their half-hearts — greeting each other and smiling, loving and living in the best way they can, while secretly hurting inside.

“That time I could not go any closer to grief, without dying. I went closer, and I did not die. Surely God had his hand in this.” ~ Mary Oliver

We all find ways to protect our hearts, our minds, and our souls. My intention is to find a way, any creative and sacred way, to see mine (and yours) whole (holy) again. Is that not the point? So, if your heart is breaking, let it. Let it do what hearts do. It is a human privilege.

And we haven’t allowed ourselves the space and time, the support and the solitude that we need for grieving.

So sit, listen, write, sing, cry, scream, dance, hide, run, gnash your teeth, reach out to a friend, visit someone who is lonelier than you, read books, soak in the sun, ask the river, ask the trees, ask the wind, beg for relief, bend on your knees, visit a temple, visit your body’s holy temple and ask for forgiveness and peace.

And let yourself really know, that something bigger is loving you and holding you always.

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Lana Maree
Lana Maree is a poet, and a singer/songwriter. She has produced two albums of songs: a solo album, Stardust & Moonbeams, and Riotous Singing! with her band The Sonic Mystics. She works as a massage therapist and as a Reiki practitioner.
Lana Maree

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