When the Heart Goes Awol

It’s true: my heart has gone offline again. This makes me neither cruel nor interesting, just eager for a way back in.

Should you see a woman stumbling along jiggling heart-doors at random, well, it’s probably me.

You know what I hate most about shrinks/therapists/councillors? They’re always asking how I feel about that—and that, and that, and why not that too?

Fuck you all anyway. (My seven year old ass got sent home from school for hurling that particular gem at a school councillor once—ten Hail Mary’s later and all was right in the world. There’s something to say for being Catholic–provided you’re not a little bo…oh never mind.)

My heart is a writer you know.

But so is my head, and if they are not, in reality, competing for air-time and rank then I do not know what this war is about.

There a skirmishes involving white flags and truces and (occasionally broken) treaties. It is a cold war, free of boiling oil poured on unsuspecting heads or a raging fury scorching all in its wake, consuming even premature tendrils escaping toward the future.

But it is a necessary war, for when I cannot feel I cannot write.

My head refuses to believe this, you know. Yes, it acts surprised–and then insists it be allowed to operate under the assumption that it alone, with a helping from my hands, can produce a worthy piece of writing, writing that is whole.


Every politician knows their way around misrepresentation, around saccharine whispers promising success ‘if only I can be your number one’.

My head’s been campaigning for years. It is only the loosening of the emotional valve and resulting volley of shrapnel-infested bombs disrupting the crusade that has kept this wobbly bicycle upright.

It oughtn’t to be this way, I know. Of course I know—a palm reader said as much decades ago when she insisted I would marry by twenty-four to better undertake a five-child plan.

After my head and heart line merged of course.

I will forgive her for tripping a four-star alarm; the mommy-vibes pulsating from the sister next to me (and the four children waiting to be born of her womb, but that’s another story) were enough to bewilder anyone’s senses.

But I’m still waiting for that line to merge…

The words are there, always, for what world functions (or even begins) without them? But at times they remain aloof and theoretical, more interested in painting their nails instead of showing up for work. This is acceptable to some degree; what I cannot abide is the itch underlying every breath, every comma, every consonant placed in line with its corresponding vowel.

What I cannot stand is the feeling of feelings moving, swimming, living beneath a layer of ice I cannot breach though I am standing above it, although this microcosm exists beneath my very own skin.

What I cannot tolerate is the itch of blood pouring through a valve attached to a muscle that pumps more than life through my veins yet remains at a distance even whilst buried beneath my flesh.

It is there and it is mine. Yet I cannot have it.

My words are only half alive; the children of my intellect yes, but they are bastard children; their lineage incomplete in the absence of the more that I can swallow but cannot taste. Synergy with words happens only when what’s attached above the neck snaps into place alongside what is happening beneath said neck, in invisible nooks and hollows.

Intimacy lives and dies through the ability of two beings to connect outside of fallible and confusing word-states; word-states that are only as good as their ability to connect with more than the technical training we as literates have undertaken.

I fear starving to death on theories and ideas. Take me home and make me weep by scratching the layer beneath the layer of all that I am programmed to say and do.

Impossible you might say.

Possible an army of voices would counter.

You can read the world; the words beneath the faces designed to please or frighten or solicit anonymity in their generic familiarity are ours to intuit and decipher.

Don’t lose your head over this.

There’s little chance of that. It is a stubborn appendage, always at the ready to defend the walls I am trying to breach. It is the soldier I must counter-maneuver against to rescue a life that occurs with or without me.

Alcohol, sleep-deprivation, exhaustion. Time.

Time and music, that beautiful catalyst, the magician, standing in the corner feeling for me when I cannot feel anything at all. Yes, I am hijacking other doorways until I can rely on my own.

I’m getting there you know. Well hell, I’m getting somewhere at any rate.

But I’m weary of that terrific scramble, the uncertainty of whether or not I can crack open a rib to excavate what the heart is trying to tell me.

Go on with it anyway. Finish the drill.

That is my head of all things, campaigning for what its sometimes-companion cannot yet decipher.

22 thoughts on “When the Heart Goes Awol

  1. Honest and direct thoughts. Facing life. Good and bad. We must stand our ground.
    “Time and music, that beautiful catalyst, the magician, standing in the corner feeling for me when I cannot feel anything at all. Yes, I am hijacking other doorways until I can rely on my own.”
    Good to find salvation in things we love. Thank you for sharing your words and your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never thought of my head and heart doing battle with each other. Of course, I’m so excessively a right-brained thinker. Most, if not all, thoughts are daunted with one emotion or another. Although being left-handed makes writing slower, the head and heart have no other choice than to work together.

    The plight of your dilemma must appear unbearable at times. Having the two separated must be agonizing.

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    1. Funny–because having the two separated is all I know. I’m intensely curious to know how it would feel to have them working together, in tandem. The notion seems almost impossible to me. 🙂 Asking you about it seems equally impossible because the relationship must be smooth enough that it never draws attention to itself! What a funny thought, that–I’m only aware of the division because I have to spend so much time reconciling it. And being left-handed must be irritating at times but it’s still also pretty cool. Apparently lefties have a more unorthodox approach to life. Yay for that! 🙂


      1. Having the rational meshing with the emotional all the time may mean that I can jump over a few steps in some situations like writing, but it can get awfully confusing at times. Then other times, the weaving is perfectly clear to me but everyone else seems to be missing it all together, which is exasperating. Today’s society, almost everywhere in the world, is made for the righty, the left-brain thinker. People like me who are so exclusively right-brain thinkers are the ones who have to do the most adjusting. My opinion only: I think lefties as a group should stay away from the pure business and science fields for a career because so much of these are using the rational side of the brain almost 100% of the time.

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      2. Your take on the world is an interesting one–it never occurred to me that the world caters to righty, left-brained thinkers but now that you mention it…it does seem to be so. It never occurred to me either that having such a strong heart/head connection could cause confusion–I always framed it in an ideal light. Definite food for thought here! 🙂

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