I’ve started crying on airplanes. It used to be ginger ale, now it’s wine. I probably should have eaten more than a bagel, should have had more for dinner last night than a whiskey flight and a kiss, but now I am crying and beginning to hear the beat of a second heart in my chest.
I am exhausted. I’d like to sleep for a year. By which I mean, I’d like to turn down my consciousness in order to have some rest. My rest has not been deep enough, has not penetrated my bones. Too much has happened in the past year. I opened up my chest from the back and wings sprang out, and now I cannot wear my shirts or binders or coats or old patterns anymore. Nothing fits. I am running, running to catch up with myself, when really I’m supposed to be flying. Why else would I have these new tools?
But sometimes my pen won’t move. I love and love and love, aching to make sense, make meaning, make love with my every movement, and sometimes all I can do is collapse because I’m overfull and not full enough. An underactive nervous system prone to depression and shutting down, a blank page. Still I ache and move and nourish and detox and meditate. Still I feel this pulsing in my chest, faint like something coming from within the walls, this second heart beating and every once in a while blinking a tiny little light like a pulsar star. I want to build. To do something with all of this love and throbbing energy and heat and pure life force I am lucky enough to have. I hope to never forget to be grateful for every breath of air I magically take in, every moment of reception, penetration, release, surrender, power. I can’t help but course it all through my every vein.
I am starting to cry on airplanes. It is a place I can rest, so high above my email inbox and big loves (I count five) and the ground floor surface of earth’s crust. I am lightheaded up here, stripped of the daily needs of the world, and when I drop down under my days I find this ache. This exhaustion. This ongoing fear of misunderstanding. This curse of a body, of mortality, of injustice. I haven’t reconciled. I miss the clarity and discovery of youth, of innocence. I’d like to make sense of so many things, like how the black holes grow within us and what it could ever take to fill them, like how stone can trickle away through consistent gentle water, like why humans destroy each other from the inside out. I can’t seem to find meaning in wars, but still I engage, sometimes late at night with the ones I love most. Sometimes silently stowing my own cocks in empty boxes unworthy. Sometimes desperate sorrow. Sometimes the silent blank faith of the line without the next word.
The first day I had wings, it was awkward and inconsistent. The second day I toppled over, top heavy. The third day my errands were effortless.
I guess that’s all I want. Less effort, more sweetness. Less struggle, more radical empathy. To cry because it feels good to release, above, hurdling through the sky, the taste of wine on my tongue.
A 23-year-old British woman recently had a chance to look at her own heart on display, part of The Heart exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London.
She had the heart transplant at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, three months ago after a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal condition in which the heart walls stiffen. Her first reaction on seeing the old heart was disgust, but later she described the experience as slightly surreal. She said: “Because it was mine, I was like, wow, that’s my heart. I just couldn’t stop grinning. It’s odd to think that I stood here alive, and that was part of me once upon a time.”
– From the London Times Online, 9/1/07
This is the mix for DateDyke, which she (thank the heavens!) received yesterday. I made an elaborate cover (including that photograph and quote, above) and insert, with a few sentences on why I chose each song, but which are kind of special for her, so I won’t include that here.
Here, however, is the tracklist to the new year 2008 mix called how much my heart can take:
- 1. Electric Light – PJ Harvey
2. Wicked Game – Giant Drag
3. Preparedness – The Bird & The Bee
4. Sexual Animals – Sarah Fimm
5. Love Me Like a Man – Bonnie Raitt
6. Closer to You – JJ Cale
7. Warm – Kinnie Starr
8. One Big Love – Patty Griffin
9. Please – Tristan Prettyman
10. Headlock – Imogen Heap
11. If I Was Your Man – Joan Osborne
12. Tear You Apart – She Wants Revenge
13. Yr Love – The Butchies
14. The Fear You Won’t Fall – Joshua Radin
15. Did I Imagine You? – Dot Allison
16. Sweet The Sting – Tori Amos
And if you’d like to download these songs, I stuck ’em up at YouSendIt, tracks 1-7 and tracks 8-16. YouSendIt allows 100 downloads of each file, so if you get to the file and you can’t download it, let me know in the comments and I will reupload with a new URL. … Though maybe not until after Miss DD is on her way back to Seattle on Tuesday. I might have better things to do this weekend than upload mp3s. Maybe. Just sayin’. I’m sure you understand.
9 hours, 45 minutes.
Because I was worried that my comment on “only a broken heart” would be misunderstood, and because it was, I am reposting here a comment I made on that last post:
I’m not saying “only a broken heart” in order to dismiss it, or to belittle it, or to make it mean less, or to diminish the experience. yes, of course, a broken heart is a big fucken deal (I mean, obviously – probably the most traumatic thing we humans go through, aside from death & trauma).
but what I’m saying is this: I have been struggling for quite some time with the elaborate, complex emotions, feelings, resentment, hurt, pain – all that crap – and I’ve been struggling, forcing it, really, to mean something cosmic and soul-deep and all-consuming and infinite.
but really, it’s just a broken heart.
see what I’m saying? now, that is NOT to say that I don’t think there are bits of the cosmos, the soul-deep, the all-consuming inside of a broken heart. I do.
but what I’m doing is naming this experience. putting it into a little box called “broken heart” and closing the lid and putting it on the shelf. it’s only a broken heart. that’s all this is. I’ve wounded; I will heal.