Heart Dead?

When a straight line makes its way across the monitor screen, indicating no response to stimulation, the patient is declared dead.


One day I asked my heart,

Would you like it if…?

no response______________________________________________________

How about…?

no response, just silence, a long line ———————————————————-

I wondered

Am I “heart dead”?

Have the tempests stilled the dizzying depths of emotion, the heavy heights of passion, the breathy breadth of response?

Can I no longer count on a “gut feeling” to guide me?

I remembered taking a walk

no phone, no umbrella,

yet the storm clouds gathered themselves gloomily in the distance,

and I could not smile.

My daughter offered to teach my mouth to smile and

I responded that the smile must come from the heart, from a feeling.

Finally, the charcoal clouds overhead started bumping up against each other angrily, and I said, “Let’s go back.”

We turned back and my daughter observed a smile had formed on my lips.

My heart had started beating, when we turned back.

Must I turn back from this path? to find a response?

But what is “back” when one is speaking metaphorically about a direction in life?

What do I want to do? Why is it so hard to know after all these years of education and living?

How can I pursue my passion, if I don’t know what that is?

Or, is it that I don’t think my passions, pursue-able? How does one earn a living talking, writing, thinking about ideas, which spring up from literature? Except to teach, and to assist others in the pursuit.  Teaching has not opened its doors to me. What then shall I do?

Mama Moments

Tonight my eight year old daughter climbed into my lap saying, “I’m tired mama.” I love how she calls me mama. My two older boys called me ‘mommy,’ and ‘mom’ as they got older–though the 17 year old sometimes reverts to ‘mommy’ if he wants me to do something for him–but my dear daughter decided on ‘mama’ all on her own. I cuddled her into my lap and hummed a soft song, rocking her as I sang. Eventually I could hear her breathing deepening, could feel her body go slack and heavy, and could see the ruffled line of eyelashes fanned out firmly on each of her sweet still-childishly-plump cheeks.

This joyous mama moment was tinged with the pain of knowing that these moments are swiftly coming to an end; they are numbered, and even this one could be the last. One of these days she is going to get up in the morning with a firm resolve that she is much too big to enjoy my lap anymore–similar to the moment she decided, at the ripe age of 8 months old, she would no longer breastfeed. She’s always known exactly what she wants.

She is my last child, and I cherish each and every mama moment that I receive. I feel so grateful for these moments.