Etched on My Heart

I never thought I would, but I did.
On a clear, crisp fall day, I spend 45 minutes on the bow of the ferry, wind in my hair and warmth on my face.  Sunlight shimmers on the water, mesmerizing in bright silence.  As we approach the mainland, return to solid ground, I can feel it coming on, the heavy, mournful warmth of leaving behind.

How was it?  Was it all that you expected?  Tell me all about it!

My throat is frozen and I can’t form words, I craft my memoirs in details and feelings and it’s all a bit too close to figure out right now.  I don’t know what I expected, but now that I’ve returned I feel like something profound is lurking in my mind.

24 hours later, talking to a friend, I tell him that I feel like the experience hasn’t ended – somehow though my body has returned home, the intensity in my heart and mind are still building.  This is the unexpected.  He tells me that is normal.  He says that the relaxing, empowering weekend was a trick and that by intentionally expanding my thought processes, I have begun neural reprogramming.

“When you call it by its name, you… realize how important and draining and epic it really is.”

Then he makes me promise not to be too overwhelmed to reach new highs.  I think in some ways he might be my muse.

Four full days after I set foot in Doe Bay, I finally cry.  As my love wraps his arm around me from behind, my body recognizes safety and lets go.  My heart aches.  Intensity upon intensity upon mundanity, my body shakes and releases.

There is a hill before me, lush and fertile, just over the crest something vibrates and thrums, pulling me towards it.  Unknown, it is soft and heavy and so big my eyes might not be able to take it in.  I feel it calling me, and I know now that I have to climb, that it is time.

When the tears stop, I float.  It’s as if the air has changed, become charged and somehow more real than it was before.  Faces and voices float through my mind, ideas rise like baking bread.  The connections I felt most leave haunting music running through my mind, longing beauty etched on my heart.

Magic isn’t a fairy tale.  It is in his vulnerability, it is in her story, shared without shame, it is in his fingers as he writes and in her sweet lilting voice as she sings.  Time stops in a room filled simultaneously with reality and embracing our stories with thoughtful abandon.  The feeling of being in a room with nothing but open hearts, pulsing and reaching, passionate and raw, is incomparable.  It is food for the soul.

In line at the ferry, I got out of my car and went in to the tiny gift shop.  After a weekend immersed in words and story, the stones with their etched words call me.  I choose one for each of my boys, then dig, looking for my own reminder.  Smooth and cool, my stone is truth.  My craft is truth, and truth is my courage.