Dec 232013

The Sound of One Heart Breaking

My friend has torn up the house. I have offended his righteous sense of place in his private universe. In truth I trod no path with him that we had not travelled before – yet this time I tripped a hair trigger of emotional chaos I had no idea rumbled beneath the surface of his world.

Pinned beneath the avalanche of his rage, I watched as my friend rampaged through our shared creative house, smashing carefully constructed ideas, taking inspired expressions of our creative spirits down with him. My friend failed to notice I was jammed tight beneath the boulders of his fury as he hurled our creative gifts at my feet and reduced them to matchsticks and dust.

Then he turned on me. My friend vanished into my past and returned with trophies of creative work that did not meet today’s expectations and were not his to demolish. He threw those at my feet too, to mingle with the matchsticks and dust.

And when the dust settled and I lay bruised and still, he offered me an explanation that smelled more like justification with no hint of apology, and I realised my friend had no idea what he had done. Frozen, I watched the quiet one inside me survey the matchsticks and dust – and there found I had nothing to say to my friend.

We had tried talking through the avalanche as he goaded me to a fight I was not up for and failed to deliver, but he heard nought but his own voice above the roar of destruction. So I swallowed my words and silenced my tongue and let the landslide talk over me.

I hear myself in his wicked tongue.

In my defence, which is no defence at all before those whom I have lashed with clever words, wrongful insight and caustic rage, I never took aim at the creative expression of others when imagined slights ballooned self-righteous fury. For me, and my friend as I know him for that matter, the artist’s heart is hallowed ground.

Bruised and silenced I survey the matchsticks and dust.

I am empty. There is nothing to salvage, though of course the house I will build anew. But not here.

I love my friend. I love him now in the same way I loved him before he destroyed the house. But I am far enough down life’s healing road to know I will not build so passionately and freely with him again, that our future is limited to safe pathways rather than running wild through the breathtaking forest of limitless expression.

There was a time I was an innocent, returning again and again and again with hope and joyful spirit to worlds destroyed. This I need do no longer. Once in this story is enough.

For it was my innocence that was ambushed when my friend tore up the house.  I trusted him. I was undefended. If I were to guess at his motives I would say he too was undefended. He trusted me. I had not foreseen his propensity for emotional obliteration when I spoke those two simple words that tripped the hair trigger. Thus we betrayed each other, me unwittingly, he the undisciplined warrior defending what was never under attack.

My friend, clearly at breaking point and lacking the awareness to short circuit things himself, had enlisted me in his story. Seamlessly I stepped in to fill the role.

As did my friend for me – for there was no way on Earth he could have torn up my house had I not invited him right on in. Clearly I mistrusted my own creative gifts and unconsciously recruited him to trash my world on my own behalf.

And there we have it, the sound of one heart breaking.

But that is only half the tale.

The sound of one heart breaking taking the joy of another down with it.

The sound of one heart breaking unable to bear beauty in any form, turning on Love itself.

The question is – whose heart?

Whose joy?

The human condition.

We are seven billion temporary life forms living on a spinning rock hurtling through space.

We are seven billion breaking hearts.

The wonder is that we are as sane as we are.





 December 23, 2013  Tagged with: , , ,  Comments Off on The Sound of One Heart Breaking
Feb 072012

This column is dedicated to encounters with the universal creative force some call God; to conversations with a universe that talks in symbols.

The Green Heart Story


Many, many years ago, soon after my children had both left home, I was completely at a loss as to what to do with my life. We had been living in New Zealand, and even though I had raised my kids to be independent as young adults, when they both returned to Australia I felt the need to be at least within coo-ee of the homeland.

The trouble was – I had no idea where to be.

So I bought a car. I drove the east coast. I slept in the back of the station wagon, spending my days walking the beaches, reading, fishing and taking my occasional catch down to the local restaurant, where they’d cook it up for my dinner. I was utterly lost, though living a delightful, easygoing life.

Then I got down to my last fifty bucks. Fifty dollars between me and proverbial starvation. I sat on the wide green headland at Hastings Point, the light bright blue above and the deep ocean blue below, staring at the yellow-brown $50 note. And decided I would have a yoga lesson, a private session with my former teacher in Byron Bay. I found her number. I rang her from the phone box outside the shop (it was the 90s). I booked my lesson for 6am the next morning.

I woke in the darkness, snuggled down in my comfortable bed, safe and warm in the back of my station wagon parked high on the headland, and drove south to Byron Bay. I was early, so I drove on to Broken Head. As I stood on the dunes looking out at eastern horizon, the morning crisp and clean, I marvelled that in all the years I’d been driving to and through Byron Bay I had never previously stopped at Broken Head.

I ran down the golden dune towards the water, the sand cold on my bare feet. And I walked along the water’s edge as the rising sun lit the morning gold. The waves, small, gentle, white and frilly, lapped at my feet. Shoosh. Shoosh. They broke in tiny tumbles over my feet, coming and going, coming and going.

I was lost. My spirit overwhelmed with my lack of direction and purpose. Bathed in the beauty of the earth and her gifts, deeply connected to our natural world, I was without bearings in the realm of human endeavour, or even community and connection.

As the golden sun popped above the horizon I suddenly turned my heart to the light and with all the passion and fullness of my entire being I raised my eyes to the light and asked the world a billowing bellowing question – ‘what’s it for?’

To this day, I have no idea whether I spoke that question aloud or not.

‘What’s it for?’

At that moment I glanced down at the wet sand, just as a small wave tipped her lacy frill onto my feet before receding to deeper waters.

And there, on the damp and spotted golden shore, just near my toes, lay a small green heart.

I stared, bent slowly to pick it up. I held the polished green heart, the size of my thumb nail, between my fingers. I held it up to the light. I stared in wonder at the precious gift – the answer to my question.

What’s it for?

For love.

This whole human journey is for love.

It is for love.

 February 7, 2012  Tagged with: ,  No Responses »