holding up your heart under the wide open moon.


“When my heart feels so much, I need you to help it. You are the one who knows hearts.

“I don’t know that I know hearts. I just believe in them.

We are on the freeway, spinning toward home under a wide-open moon.   A plane is coming in, fast and low. This night the strain between us takes more room in the cab of the truck than our bodies do. The plane passes over; so close I swear that if I reached up in just the right way the frame of the truck would dissolve into nothing and it would be just my hands, holding up the plane under that wide-open moon.

Who on that plane is waiting for magic, I wonder? Who on that plane left magic behind? Is it to home and sanctuary and rest they are heading, or to the pounding and hopeful heart of possibility? Who will be met and encircled and who will walk out alone and make their own peace with the guardian moon? And who among those nameless strangers has given up ever being met, and just holds on to the moment, devoid of hope.

The plane is out of sight, and still we roll down the freeway. The tension of unwanted silence stretches and expands the space between us. It amazing how impossibly large a small space can feel when we have closed something of ourselves to the one we are with.

We are all, I think in that moment, somewhere between leaving and arriving. Arriving and leaving. Often we don’t know which till long after it’s done.

We all slip-slide through the liminal spaces. The suspended animation between here and there.  That’s all there is really. I sometimes wonder if grace is just a word for the times that we manage to live in full trust of the graceless in-between.

“How do you know the difference between valid doubts and a damaged heart putting up walls where they don’t belong?”

“You don’t know. You can’t. You can grasp tight a deep-rooted knowing with all the certainty of the world, and have it be just the optimistic projection of a hopeful heart.   Or you may have all the doubts and uncertainties and wake up years later to find you’ve grown into your own happiness without even knowing that you did. And that same person you once doubted will still be there by your side, loving you well.“

“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
Anais Nin

Exactly as we are. Scared and hopeful. Damaged and whole. Searching for love and terrified it will find us. Because if it finds us – and we answer it’s call – we will have to lay it all on the line. Again.

“Take a deep breath love. We weren’t made to be abandoned. It just feels that way sometimes.”

It feels that way sometimes. It feels that way enough that we’re quick to run at the slightest possibility. We read the present with the wounds of the past rising right to the surface. Casting a murky doubt in spaces that beg for trust. Better to push, to predict the inevitable end and escape before you become casualty of another goodbye.

So we stay up all night, turning our back to potential and curling into a hard ball on the sofa. Letting tears fall to the whirring of the ceiling fan and the quiet noises a home only really makes when it believes its occupants given over to dreams.   We fight the hardest battle not with another, but with ourselves. With the parts that want to run far and fast and hard, and every pulse of heart and spirit and soul that begs to stay and trust and believe.

But all planes land eventually. And some on those planes will be met, and some will not.   And for all of those people, there are beginnings and endings and middles and sunsets and wide open moons that fill the cabs of red pickup trucks with a light that just happens to be the color of hope. Light that drowns out the silence and replaces it with the sound of the clumsiest and most beautiful sort of grace.

Because I do believe in hearts. Even the ones who will live always, tucked away at the root of my pain. I believe that those hearts knew – just like mine has always known – what it was that they needed.   Without understanding or knowing. Leaving room for mistakes and regrets. I still believe in hearts.

Because all we can ever do is invite someone into our experience. We cannot control whether they enter, or if and when they choose to leave. Or even if or when we will.

You can invite them in, and you can walk through the open doors. One step at a time. Clumsy and uncertain and still full of the brilliant grace of the in between. Believing, in spite of all the odds.

Holding up your heart under the wide open moon.


{for J. and for N.  and for A.  for late night texts full of wisdom and for holding my heart under countless wide open moons}


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