"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."Today I met this girl, she told me a story - and I could hear her heart in her words - I could feel my heart cringe as I absorbed all she said. Putting her heart into words is impossible, but I told her I would try:
And there she stood, waiting - hoping - holding. Her knees locked firm, her smooth jaw clinched, her pleading hands stained blood red. Her dreams are piled to her left, her hopes to the right, her fears weighted heavy on her back. Her dreams rustle in the wind, she fears if she waits much longer they all might flutter off. Even though there is snow, her hopes have somehow melted into the thirty below. And her fears - they bear down - threatening to make themselves part of her being, eking though the thin skin she now wears. She thinks if she could just wait a bit longer, the door might open, her dreams could be carried in, her hopes found and her fears pried free. She forces her trembling body to still, for she simply cannot tame her spinning mind. Atop the cold concrete steps she quietly waits. The past clawing, banging, prying only thickened the door and left her trying fingers splintered and raw. The brass doorknob is biting ice, frozen in place. She used to have a key. She once never even needed a key. A cold rush of loneliness rips through her transparent skin right to her unprotected soul. She long dropped her guards, walls and defenses - traded them for safe passage to this heart. She held her own bleeding heart in her own hands offering it to a door that just wouldn't budge.
The thump, thump, thump, of her once pounding heart grows faint as the moments tick to memories. She stood and waited. She waited till she realized she could wait there forever. That she would wait till she was a faint shadow of her vibrant self. That she would waste away waiting for a door that just wouldn't open. She knew she had to stop waiting, to pick up what she could, stuff her heart back into her chest and move. She couldn't carry everything she had brought. So her raw fingers began to salvage. Gather the dreams still piled, scoop the hope still pooled, and pry the fears from her tired back. She stacked the fears neatly outside the door, left her hopes she couldn't scoop and her dreams that no longer belonged to her. Unlocked her knees, tucked her unruly hair behind her burning ears, took a deep breathe and stepped down. Her eyes stung from tears cried, her limbs ached from gathering, tearing, leaving -- but her heart. Her heart starts to find its place back in her chest, her skin a bit thicker and her hands cling to all she knew as good.
And there she stood, when I saw her, breathing deep, solitary - hoping - holding. I never would have guessed where she had moved from. She has a silent strength that she says only comes from a heart that has been stripped and rebuilt.