Matters of the [ ……… ]
I don’t like saying the word heart, or writing it or even reading it. Growing up in church the heart was always referred to like a specific place in this nonspecific zone. Too often the word has a cheesy connotation that makes me shudder.
It makes me think of red and pink. Of shattered pieces or black decay. It’s an overused metaphor for something that is so deep and fragile. I can hardly stare my heart in the face much less acknowledge its existence.
The heart is the deep place that knows a truth long before its taught or exposed. The deep place that loves so hard the body can hardly breathe for feeling it. The deep where a wound is more than a scratch, it is mortal to good things like trust, peace, courage. It sees the invisible world in the midst of our very visible reality.
The mere word ‘heart’ feels so inadequate. Young me understood this. It was the process of growing old that showed me how dangerous heart is. For the last fifteen years I did my best to knife my heart right out of its pocket in my soul. Grownups don’t need hearts right? I focused on survival and forgot the way to Narnia and how to fly to Never Never Land.
In the flourish of a grand two-year miracle God wiped off a few dark, scaly coats of armor I had meticulously built over the years. And suddenly I realized, like waking up from a long sleep, that I had lost the truest part of me.
God promises a heart transplant when we decide to trust Him. I know this to be true because it happened to me. As an artist I can’t function without my heart. My heart is my profession. It is for all artists. We spill heart out onto pages, canvas, theatre floors, ballet bars, music sheets, microphones. We must feel. More importantly we must have the courage to feel. And then the courage to interpret.
So what do you think? Have you lost your heart? Have you found your heart? Or do you wonder if you even need your heart?
…Meet the author Heather Ostalkiewicz on the About Us page!