“How is your heart?”
Last week my friend asked me that very question. The state of my heart has been a constant target these past few months… Constantly interrogated, as if I could just say exactly in one word its state.
No. I couldn’t come up with an exact word that will describe the state of my heart. So I would just politely say that it’s still beating okay. And every time I do, my mind seems to tell me that no, you cannot describe the beating of your heart as just okay!
You cannot tell the people that your heart is just okay when you struggled to contain all the emotions that seem to drown you.
Where do I start?
I feel like I have to finally sit in, closely examine it and put into words the different patterns, different emotions it beats. But I fear that when I pause and look, I won’t be able to contain all those things I’m barely keeping inside. That it will be unbearable.
Sometimes I’m not sure what to make of all these. I feel so much. I listen to a song or read a poem and it will move me beyond words and make me weep for its beauty.
Last night I saw men collecting garbage and it made me tear up. I was neither sad nor happy but I cried all the way home, thinking of their life beyond the work that they do, profusely thanking the Almighty One for men like them who do the dirty work for us, imagining them coming into their homes with food in their hands for their kids, and a kiss for their wives, and they would retire for the day with a smile in their lips and wake up the next day with love in their eyes. I thought what a wonderful life that must be, and I cried all the more.
And then I imagined that maybe their life is harsher… That they’d go home to an empty house, their stomach empty, muscles sore from the day’s toil. And they’d sleep crying and hoping that tomorrow would be a brighter day. And I cried all the more.
What to make of those?
I am making up stories in my mind, it seems.
A few weeks ago, there was a chemical bombing in Syria, and many have died. I tried not to read the articles, tried not to see the images, tried not to open my browser. If I stop and thought, the pain will be unbearable.
Someone told me he loves me and I cried again thinking how blessed I am that he does. And hoping that he too will be blessed by the love that I struggle to express.
And so they ask me, how is my heart.
Those are fragments of what’s inside my heart. Sometimes I am not sure I understand myself. I fear that there is something inside me, waiting for the right time for it to take over. I feel it like the acid in my stomach, burning my chest in times that I leave my guard down.
I read about someone having a lovely struggle. And I thought I was having one. And right now, as I write this, I am thinking that all of us have our own lovely struggle. It is comforting to think that we are not alone, even though our struggles are personal. That at one point our hearts are having the same beat, our minds are sharing the same thoughts and we are hearing the same sighs.
So I ask this of you, how is your heart?
Beloved, let us carry on in this lovely struggle. No matter the state of our hearts, it is lovely to hear the music of its beating.