Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Tale Of Two Shells

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. (Thank you Charles Dickens)

They started out together. Two pieces forming one whole.

When I found them on the Florida beach, the separating had already begun. They sat, still slightly together, but now, wide open, suggesting change.
It was sunrise.
I snapped a photo. Picked them up. Took them home.

They fell completely apart.

I stored them in my drawer, tucked beneath my underwear and socks.

A few weeks ago I discovered them. I bought them out, feeling their ridges, holding each to my ear and hearing in each, their birth place, the Sea.

"Listening is only the beginning."

took them to a special place, a walking trail, to remember.

There I made a wonderful discovery. 
Placed together they formed a heart. 
A heart with wings.

It has been over two years since my divorce, and I am continuing to heal. The aftermath has been grueling but also liberating.  

I have learned to love myself, nurture myself, care tenderly and gently for myself. I extend the same patience and compassion I have tried to show others now to me, as I continue to recover from the devastation divorce brings.

There have been so many challenges, but the greatest one has been to resist closing down my heart for good. I have often imagined placing a "No Trespassing" sign at its door. Protecting myself from hurt in the future sounds reasonable and appropriate. 

But...BUT, that would trap me in a world of isolation. I needed to go there to heal for a time, but I choose not to stay there.

I refuse to give up on love.

Reminders of the possibility of love find me in odd places. Like a cherry I was about to eat that looks like a heart, which I took to Valley Forge Park for a photo shoot. My daughter Lisa-Noel got quite the kick out of my subject as we hiked around together. (And yes, that's where the photo above came from!)

Then there was this poem. A reminder, that even when the world appears to be ending, love, quietly, prevails.

In Time
by WS Merwin

The night the world was going to end
when we heard those explosions not far away
and the loudspeakers telling us
about the vast fires on the backwater
consuming undisclosed remnants
and warning us over and over
to stay indoors and make no signals
you stood at the open window
the light of one candle back in the room
we put on high boots to be ready 
for wherever we might have to go
and we got out the oysters and sat
at the small table feeding them
to each other first with the fork
then from our mouths to each other
until there were none and we stood up
and started to dance without music
slowly we danced around and around
in circles and after a while we hummed
when the world was about to end
all those years, all those nights ago

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