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Guts and Glory, August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009

Does it seem to you that the world is somehow on hold? Can you hear a strange silence? Can you feel a stillness that has descended over everything like a soft mist? Maybe it is the transition from Summer to Fall, sped up by children returning to school. Summer does not officially end for almost a month yet football games have begun and public pools have closed. Here, the air has even cooled as if trying to be a team player in this manipulation of nature. A few leaves fall in the afternoon breeze. Is that wood smoke I smell in the air?

As I cling to each moment in savoring reverence, this rush of Autumn pisses me off. I recall seasons that changed without my notice as I frantically dotted the i’s of my life and crossed the t’s without a pause or even glance. Life was full and busy with details and demands. Food was grabbed on the go if at all. Sleep came only as a nuisance. Family fed off the crumbs of my attention. The painful parts were stuffed into arteries out of sight and mind. The heart was denied as a luxury I could not afford; a trivial indulgence I had not earned; pathetic proof that I was too emotional or sensitive.

My life now holds few i’s and t’s that need my attention. No demands crowd my day or haunt my night. Food is now my hobby and my, well, food. It nourishes me. I pay attention to it. Sleep takes over and checks all tendency to push limits imposed by a battered heart and fragile, narrow pipes. Family is now second only to breathing and the beating of my front and center heart. The pain is no longer ignored and parts stuffed and hidden away are gently and courageously pulled forth to be felt a little at a time.

I resent all this hurrying the world seems set upon. Perhaps this pregnant pause I feel is of my own doing. I want to shout, “Leave the i’s un-dotted and forget to cross your t’s! Stop running! Let the spinning cease! Just be. Feel it, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Put your hand to your heart and appreciate its wholeness and its brokenness. No one else will appreciate it you don’t.”

I live in a world that has slowed down in my heart and mind. I am somewhat on hold as I savor each breath and beat and sight and taste and touch and sound. I fall behind before the day has begun never stepping again as a rat in a race. No wonder my mind seems slower. I demand it be so, or else it would race on leaving me sitting, staring at my sleeping pups beside me. My mind stays with me, content to lie in wonder at all I missed before.

I can no longer keep up with the seasons. I am not finished with the Summer. It is not because of my body that I cannot keep up, though surely it would not last long at that pace. It is my full and conscious choice to lag behind in reverence. The irony is not lost. I am a sight. The I all thought was strong and brave has surrendered to the me who hides with greater courage and avoids with new found strength.

It takes guts to admit one’s heart is broken. It takes even more to keep it safe. It takes guts to be angry. I never meant to go all guts and glory. My heart must have a mind of its own. Ahhh, my pulse now medically slowed sets the tone and speed of my living. The pressure of my beta blocker blood reduced to barely above a peaceful nap. Each demonstrating what my heart was wanting all along…a little rest, a little respect. Not kicking and screaming, insane beat and rhythm forced for fifty years. The sanity of my heart’s mind does lead me now. My brave heart.

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