A truly heart centred life is not easy to live in this world. So many claims are made upon our time and energy. In many respects I am lucky not to be pulled on by a ‘day job’, as I have shared before I stopped work after two traumas and then I isolated alone for a few years before seeking release or ‘rescue’ through a new relationship, although I did not fully understand at the time that that was what I was doing. Instead this strong guy turned up at the units I was living in, in an semi isolated place on the coast and we were pulled into a relationship.
Our very first conversation was one in which I shared that I was a sober recovering alcoholic. Not that that is really who I AM but it was the space I was in at the point, abstinent from alcohol, trying to get a handle on the forces that had been pulling on my life and heart and struggling to see how I could find a new direction inward to my heart in order to know my way. But I didn’t even know all of that at the time and I had been severely discombobulated by two accidents, the first of which happened overseas when I was trying to make a ‘break’ and move forward but also being impinged upon by other wills, other voices, others’ resistances.
I now see I was on the edge of my ‘grief work’. The lost kid inside me was trying to find a way back to herself and if that lost kid lives anywhere, I believe he or she lives in both our gut and our heart. We absolutely cannot know her ways until we can open the door and find a path inward to those true places of being and knowing inside of us, no matter how long barricaded or buried.
In many ways this guy I met was also a lost child. As I look back I see that at that point in 2007 we two lost kids found each other and then went to war with the barricaded places. In my case I was sad a lot and angry when old wounds of lack of attention and abandonment were triggered. In his case the way to his sadness was barricaded by an angry monster who had erected a sign on the door. ‘Do not enter’. So I was angry and sad a lot but also full of joy when our two little kids came out to play together at times and we touched base with a place of heart, being and may I say love.
The entire 4 and a half year story is too long to go into here. We eventually split up and my heart was now not only trying to deal with the grief I took into that relationship but also the resonances of older griefs it had stirred up. Overpowered I ran back to my home town after another aborted attempt to make a break in a new place. And here over the past 6 years I have been trying to find my way to my heart, or rather the place in it that is not broken or shattered, the place within it which has a wellspring of hope, joy, promise, self expression and love.
Today I sat in my local shopping centre drinking my coffee at my favourite place, reading the biography of someone also in addiction recovery who eventually after finding sobriety made the decision to leave London and return to her home, Orkney an island in the Scottish Hebrides. Here she touches base with nature and eventually takes on a position working in the Royal Society For the Preservation of Birds. It is a biography tinged with isolation and aloneness but also with the courage of a woman trying to find a way forward from a destructive past. Sadly it doesn’t really go into the hidden pain in her heart. As a young child she watched her father flown away to a psychiatric unit after a ‘manic’ attack. But it is still hauntingly beautiful and today as I read I felt tears in my eyes as I thought both of my self and this woman, two survivors trying to find a way forward after suffering the wreckage of a confused and lost past.
And those tears were a relief because those tears spoke to me of truths that I could never fully articulate in this blog where so much grief and pain lurks in unspoken spaces but also a winged bird of heart awakening to truths that in burgeoning there so long to arise and take flight. So on a half used tissue I wrote these words, my meagre attempt to express this ;
I can cry,
no one can see me sitting here
fissure deep broken open
to reveal a heart,
so long buried
where could I find myself
under such barren skies
it seems so long since I ever had a home.
If home is where the heart is…
where is my heart?
between breathless fits and starts
it flutters in my chest
like a broken winged bird
who so long ago lost direction
finding itself in the middle of the flock
captured by winds of desire and inward turning
it was lured to another destination
beyond the mainstream
Where storm filled skies and winds
Led it to crash amongst the rocks
carry my heart,
let it open its wings to the breeze,
let it surrender those defences
which arrest the flow of breath and blood
so that new life can enter
and that broken winged bird
gain enough strength
to fly again.