A Heart is Enough

Pearl has a fever.
I cried at the baseball game.
Need a cold shower.

Aviva’s latest:
Nobody lets me finish
a single sentence.

Mary Oliver
lines echoing in my head:

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

And here is where
the haiku ends
and the story picks back up.

I could drown in
those poems
and posts
about missing myself,
about home,
my “wild, poetic” self


I hear Greg playing his guitar outside –

Mama take this badge from me
I can’t use it anymore

the one that was his father’s
that I got repaired
ten years ago
almost to the day
as a surprise
for his 34th birthday, the age
his father was
when he died.

Nobody lets me finish a

Aviva is not me,
I remind myself.

Do you want me to tell you
about my despair?
How on Friday morning
in Office Number Three
my own muscles suggested
its origins,
not in marriage or motherhood,
not adolescence or even childhood
but in utero?

Now that’s mythic.

I can’t use it anymore.

My friend Miv posted these words from the Dalai Lama
on facebook a few days ago:

It is not just a person’s physical constitution,
their intelligence, their education,
or even their social conditioning
that enables them to withstand hardship.
Much more significant is their inner development.
And while some may be able to survive through sheer willpower,
the ones who suffer the least are those
who have a high degree of patience and courage
in the face of adversity.

It’s time to close the circle,
to come full –

Yes, I am a survivor,
and God knows I’ve proven my sheer willpower
more than once.

Intelligence, education, a strong body:
these are blessings, privileges.

But I’ve been thinking about something else,
how “inner development” is a choice,
not a given.

And so I look to grow from the inside out,
as Coleridge wrote:

He looked in his own soul
with a telescope
and what seemed all irregular
he saw and showed to be
beautiful constellations,
and he added to the consciousness
hidden worlds within worlds

inward to recover
some fragments, fractals, lost cells of patience
I didn’t know I had
or would ever need this much,

and inward to trust
that yes,
we get what we need
and yes,
we become who we are
and yes,
a heart is enough.

6 thoughts on “A Heart is Enough

  1. Renae C says:

    The view through the kaleidoscope of your words into the changing mosaic of your heart is beautiful. Wishing you peace and strength and patience and blessing.


  2. GailNHB says:

    Beautiful and powerful piece here. I want to be someone whose heart and patience and courage grow and bend and stretch and cover me in the inevitable difficult times to come.

    Yes, there is crying at baseball and softball and tennis and horseback riding too. There are shivery showers and songs played on guitar and loneliness and longing in the midst of it all. And you capture it so well. So very well.

    And don’t get me started on not being able to finish a single sent



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s