Of course there have been woundings aplenty along the way. Hurts and betrayals, the unrequited loves and the loves that turned out to be not as advertised. Experiences that I would have called ‘having my heart broken’ because I did not know enough to recognise that it was merely battering the surface a bit. Surface damage is a great way of toughening up, becoming thick and leathery. With time, that can turn into something colder, harder, more impervious. A grown-up heart. A sensible heart. A survivor.
I’ve been practicing breaking for a while now. Not in the sense of bruising the scar-laden surface though. Hill top views that fill me up so I feel I might burst. Moments with Tom that strip me to the soul, and leave me gasping. Moments of beauty and wonder that have made little cracks on the inside, although I had no idea what that meant or where it might be taking me.
A few days ago, I exploded. It was sudden, dramatic, heart, life shattering and it took me until yesterday to be able to start talking and crying where I needed to. Today has brought experiences to lever that exploded hole a little wider.
Pain is not the only way to break your heart. More often, pain doesn’t break you, it locks you in a box and wraps iron bands around the outside to make sure that you do not move too much. All too often, an excess of pain puts out the fire of being alive, and it shuts out the light and turns the rich potential of darkness into mere emptiness.
But this other thing, this breaking open, is a whole other experience. It does hurt, and there have been a lot of tears, but these are good tears. If this was a fairy story, these would be the tears that wash away malevolent forces in a river, or that clean a fatal wound. These are magical tears, and they are welcome. It doesn’t matter that I do not know what is happening. I know why it’s happening. After years of being shut down and reduced, I’ve spent the last few years changing direction, and apparently I’ve reached sort of crisis-point in that.
This time, I really am breaking my heart, and breaking it wide open to let out what is on the inside, and to let in all those things that were out there and I did not dare to trust before. The thing about keeping your heart in a wooden box, tightly bound with iron, is that the love and beauty that might otherwise be available, simply cannot get in. It is possible to become so safe that it kills you.
I do not know what happens now. Everything changes. I get the feeling that’s exactly as it should be.