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Location: Midwest, United States

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hearts in Hands

My Random-Thought-Generator of a brain keeps cycling back to the “hearts entrusted to another’s hands” image/metaphor. I’m pretty sure most of us have said something along those lines to somebody at some point. “You hold my heart in your hands” you say to your lover. I would guess that statement might mean different things to different people. I suggest that most of us are trying to say: “don’t hurt me.” Am I right?

The metaphor conjures up a flood of thoughts in me. We’re talking about a transaction, an exchange. It is an act of faith. It is an expression of love. It is a plea. It infers duties and obligations. It’s a complicated thing – this giving up of one’s heart. I don’t even know where to begin. As I sit here at my keyboard, I have absolutely no idea how to proceed. It feels futile to even attempt to array my thoughts into some logical construct. I will simply begin, and hope that what follows turns out to be something a tad more useful than mere blather or gibberish.

First, a bit of context: It is pain that initially brought the metaphor to mind. My heart has endured some rough handling of late. I’m not fixated on the pain aspect, though. Sh*t happens. Lovers hurt one another and get hurt in turn. Love is simply like that. No, there are so many other aspects of this that get me to mulling. Where to start?

I don’t entrust my heart to others all that readily (my parents fall into an entirely different category – with them it was fait accompli). I’m referring to my lovers. Now, I wasn’t always reluctant to love and trust. I was once eager…too eager. As I’ve said before, I typically only learn by failing. A few heartbreaks and a few years later, I was quite a bit more circumspect and cautious. Interestingly enough, I am quicker to trust now (well, not right now), but it’s only because I’ve come to know myself quite a bit better, and have a much better understanding of what I love and admire in others. I have a much better sense today of: what I need…what repels…what I can accept…and what I cannot. I also know what I can (and cannot) offer in return. I’m no longer a malleable youth striving to fit within the contours of another’s hands. I’m a craggy stone now. I’m mindful of my hard edges. I know my contours. There aren’t all that many others who can be comfortable with my heart. When I find someone who can…someone craving a craggy stone...well…surrender is easy.

Funny thing, though - despite all wariness and caution (I was engaged for five years before I married), it remains a fact that life will always throw curve after curve. No one can foresee the possibilities and the realities. Entrusting one’s heart into the hands of another will always be a risky business. It all comes down to faith and Fate. It surely helps if the hands serve as expressions of a truly good and loving heart.

What do I expect when I surrender my heart? I guess my expectations have also changed with time, pain and experience. My young heart begged to be made happy, begged to be loved. My young heart sought to be sheltered from pain.

My old heart has simpler needs. It just wants to be cherished. I can accept the fact that someone I love may choose to follow a different path (they all have). I simply accept that love is going to hurt. I can’t predict the what-where-when-and-how’s of impending heartaches. I just know they’re coming. No, I simply ask to be cherished. Learning that I’m not really the apple of someone’s eye does not devastate me. What devastates is the manner in which my heart is treated. People can return my heart when their hands get tired. I understand. People can decide my heart is not to their liking. I understand (believe me, I do!). People are free to do whatever their own hearts prompt them to do. After all, isn’t love about complete acceptance? It follows then, that one must accept whatever happens once two hearts choose to correspond.

I just wish that people wouldn’t crumple my heart and toss it into a trash bin in the process. I wish to be cherished, if only just a little. I wish to have my heart returned blessed with at least a few drops of remorse. I wish my heart would be treated as the fragile, crystalline thing it truly is. Take it. Keep it. Please. But if you wish to return it, do it gently. The pain will be unbearable as it is. It’s that much worse if I am made to crawl naked through broken glass. Sigh.

* * *

Oops. I guess I am fixated on the pain aspect…sorry.


Blogger Sunny Delight said...

exactly....just to cherish....softly gently cherish

Thu Jan 25, 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think true love - even when it's time to say goodbye - even under the most painful circumstances - can always - ALWAYS - find something of gratitude to send to the once beloved. It takes some time, sometimes. And it takes a specific sort of person. But whether it happens in this life or the next, I think the gratitude for the connection, for the relationship and all that it brought, is eventually blessed with gratitude.

Can we find gratitude in the pain? I have learned that I can. And I must. As soon as I become grateful, the pain diminishes.

Thu Jul 12, 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

You won't get an argument from me, Ms. A. I'm not one to carry the burden of bitterness for all that long. I'm grateful for all the love that has come my way....even if it didn't last a lifetime...

Thu Jul 12, 07:17:00 PM  

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