This Desert Heart

Hello my pretties,

   One of the things that I have been accused of for pretty much my entire adult life is the sin of introspecting too much. Maybe they are all correct; maybe I dwell on the human condition too much. The topic, though, fascinates me as no other topic does, and the infinite variety of life, from motivation to hate to love to heroism to villainy to anything else human is as entrancing as a watching a slow ballet through a smoky haze.

   It is my life that seems to puzzle me so much. It may sound odd to you, dear reader, that the one thing that captures my attention is the one thing that eludes me when it comes to understanding, and making sense of, MY human condition. To wit: I am as clueless about myself as I am about the details of quantum mechanics. Sort of...

   It's my heart that bothers me. I'm not near a myocardial infarction (I don't think), but I am a stranger in a land that I should know. My heart, my desert heart, blooms with unimaginably brilliant colors with a little rain at the right time; otherwise, it tries to survive a hardscrabble existence with a harsh manner. It is a hot, hot heart in a dry, dry environment.

   This is not a complaint, dear reader, any more than it is a confession. If I loved myself, as Dr. Phil and other douche bags of his ilk implore me to do, then I wouldn't be searching for something deeper, something more beautiful, something worthwhile; I would be grooving to my own coolness, awash in my own self-imposed glory and soaking up the rays of an egoistic solar source. But I don't love myself - I just like myself a little, hoping to find something worthwhile to smile about when it comes to me. It may be a sterile and antiseptic evaluation, but I'll never be in danger of thinking too much of myself. I'll never lie to myself, no matter how much I want to do so. My desert heart knows how to survive on very little.

   I don't know, dearest and sweetest readers of my words, if I still have the capacity for love. I feel scared and alone when this thought comes, and it arrives when my mind is unguarded. Right now, my mind is unguarded, weak, vulnerable to the type of truth that one usually senses in the unflattering, unadorned morning light while staring at oneself in the mirror. It hurts, it pummels the senses, it fills me with a sense of loss so profound that I want to burst out crying because I lost something that God gave to me so very long ago.

   The thing is....

   The thing is, I don't cry. I don't cry because I am appalled at myself for letting it get this bad; I have a heart that is vast and still and hardened by millenia of solitude and centuries of not buying in to the company line, the Nora F-u-c-k-i-n-g Roberts school of love and happily-ever-after mantra. And I am ecstatic about this. Memories of lost loves burn into my psyche, but it doesn't hurt; it's a constant and life-giving fire that reminds me of what could have been. Still, I don't cry. I may not be your white knight in shining armor, but I can be a horseman with a nice smile.

   So, what do I want? It would be a good question to ask, seeing as how this little missive is even more random and unstructured than any of my other little missives, but this seemingly good question would be a mistake. No, the right, the relevant, the crucial question is: what do I need??? How may I sustain and beautify this heart, this desert heart? What would make this strident, piercing scream become muted and soothing? What, in fact, would make me whole again?


   Man, I don't know! Really. OK, I'm not a tortured soul crying out in the wilderness of my life. Disabuse yourself of that thought immediately, dear reader, for it is a false prophet and will lead you to ruin - or at least to a wrong conclusion. No, my sweethearts, it's just that I refuse to believe the essential truths and mores that have been foisted upon me since I could assimilate the concept of essential truths and mores into my kinda weird value system. The only constant is change, but, my friends, change is never, ever constant. It jumps and flits about like a monarch butterfly, bright and pretty and wholly unpredictable to us homo sapiens. I don't believe in happily ever after; the thought horrifies me. It should horrify you as well, my love...

   Who could refrain, that had a heart to love, and in that courage make love known? Paraphrasing Shakespeare marks me as a book geek, but the dead Brit could get to the heart (no pun intended) of the matter better than anyone else. Do we have hearts for love? Do we have what it takes to love? Don't even think to immediately shout out "yes!" and feel a bit miffed that I would dare ask such a question. Can you really know true, deep, and substantial love unless you have flossed next to that person a few hundred times? (A paraphrasing from Special Topics In Calamity Physics) This heart of mine, marooned and looking for shelter, simply doesn't know. Is love a many-splendored thing? Is love what we resort to because we cannot abide being alone? Is love a masquerade for biochemical responses to the natural urge to procreate? I'm thinking that "A Little Night Music" might allow my mind to find the answer. Maybe not.

   The heart - my heart and yours - is a strange entity, soft and pliable and very resilient, but one shouldn't try to force a round heart into a square hole. It will ultimately pinch and irritate and force truths from us that we don't necessarily want to know. Let it live in a bleak house, a house on Mango Street, in the house of the rising sun (in New Orleans), let it live with Dr. House - just give it some space. You may never know your heart, just as I don't know mine, but it will know you. Yeah. That's the sucker punch, and one never sees that coming. It hurts so good and feels so bad, but it is your best friend.

   This desert heart will always be my mystery, an enigma I will never solve. I want to know it, but that change that is never constant always plays by its own weird rules, and I don't have the manual. It is terribly hot inside, but it is oh so very still. It is vast, so big that it frightens the uninitiated. There seems little to explore until one explores it, puts in the time and effort to find the beauty in the sweeping expanse of its landscape. It will smile at piano cantatas because a piano cantata in the middle of the desert is ridiculous. Yeah, it's that kind of heart.

   I love it. I hate it. Most of all...

   I miss it.



DentedSyke DentedSyke
56-60, M
1 Response Mar 24, 2009

I relate to the deep thinking as well as your love for humanities and beauty. For example, your writing drew me in because it has a poetic feel.<br />
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Sounds like you experience what I often do. At the moment I only have to I'll just sum it up in a few words, but I intend to come back and share more! a hmm... being haunted by or teased by an elusive wisdom... <br />
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Just joined and I dont know the etiquette about posting yet, so forgive me if its unusual but as I read I found myself wondering if you are a Sagittarius, a Gemini or if you have ADD.