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The Path of Heart


I have a tendency to pit my head and my heart against one another. On one hand, I can appreciate the balance between the two, and see that there is a sort of cost to benefit analysis that can be done in order to make decisions. On the other, I find that the more I seek to understand myself and take ownership of my emotions, the more I feel pressure to accept that there are times where I want or need something based on heart alone. To invalidate heart is to hurt oneself, and for many of us, that is a deep wound to heal with many years of calloused scar tissue thinly veiling an open gash.


Even early in life, I felt a sense of purpose and pride in groups that flirted with what I would now describe as ecstatic and ritual behaviors. Summer group bonding sessions through camp songs as we hiked or kayaked, singing Don McLeans “American Pie” about a hundred times in the car on the way from South Hero to Montpelier for a Green Up Day poster contest, the repetitive story telling of my favorite events or moments of a day, and the oddly comforting but wholly foreign concept of “codes of honor” associated with the Boy and Girl Scouts (respectively).


Head says these mundane moments were only important as a child- heart says they live as part of me and demand to be unleashed on the world


Today, I find my heart is drawn to these same modes to convey passion and to establish meaningful mantras for myself. Chants from the reclaiming community resonate deeply in my core, and the sounds I find myself making late at night in empty, liminal parking lots surprise and elate me to no end. I long for a place to scream, to be heard, to let the wound in my heart open- just as I long for a place of quiet, where I can arrange prose into pretty sentences, knowing that there is ritual in both the screaming and the silence.


I am choosing in this time to follow a gnarled trail on the path of heart. Where it leads remains to be seen, and may not be resolved for many years yet to come. For me, the path looks like a vow of self love.


Art courtesy of @muhammedsalah_ on instagram

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