"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words. " ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Heart of Hearts

A HOUSE WHERE ALL'S ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Someone's Front Door ~ San Francisco
photo taken by wandering tourist on March 6, 2014


"The human heart is vast enough
to contain all the world."

~ Joseph Conrad ~

“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

~ Anaïs Nin ~
The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Vol. 1: 1931-1934

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

&

Thanks for all the Worlds!


My multi-talented friend Tammy Sandel mentioned something recently that I knew would make the perfect blog post for Valentine's Day. She told the story of her son Austin asking her, "Mom, why are we always talking about our heart? How can your heart feel anyway?"

His questions brought to mind a couple of Tammy's own poems, filled with visceral images of pumping, bleeding hearts at work. In the first poem, the vivid -- i.e., filled with life! -- motif of red thread, red note and red word connects the reader to the poet's creative energy. The opening lines run like this [emphasis added]:
Red Note*
A blood red thread runs through the chapters of my life, stitching them together, feeding the future from the past like an artery.
Some of my chapter titles are the names of men. Of boys. Of my boys. Of animal friends. Some are titled with women's names, those women who invited me into the intimacy of birthing their child.
And some chapters are simply Moments. . . .


and
Zoom Hover Reverse.**
(tlks 12/12/14)
Alternate realities put me in the center of a Venn diagram. The intersecting circles pen me in with iridescent wings.
Living labile demands strength. Trying to notice and feel and say every thing to every one you love? Zoom.
Wishing, dreaming, imagining is exhilarating. And time consuming. Hover.
Second guessing, guilt, and regrets exhaust. Reverse.
Do you see that I feed you with the meat of my racing heart?
It's the only way I know how to be. . . .
Tammy, thanks for sharing your poems!

[*See "Comments" below for the complete text of both poems]

The conversation between Tammy and her son continued with an exploration of mystery, and how older cultures attributed emotion to other organs. Then they spent a day substituting the word liver for heart. For example, "I feel it in my liver." "He's got great liver." " I love you with all my liver."

Ever ready with a sly joke or an unexpected pun, Tammy provided an excellent literary connection, observing that "Maya Angelou said:

'Life loves the liver of it.' "

And Gerry, my clever husband, contributed: "Well I was born in Liverpool, need I say more?"

I was reminded of those good old gutsy expressions of disgust that capture some of the emotions we feel in our gut. For example:
1. When something is so annoying that
it really "sticks in my craw."

and

2. When something is so distateful that
I feel my gorge rise."
Another charming connection that came to mind was the time back in Philadelphia when Ben and Sam (around ages 10 & 7 at the time) were playing out on our side street with some neighborkids, and one little girl named Daisy took an accidental blow to the tummy. She got the wind knocked out of her but didn't really have the medical knowledge to explain her pain. Instead, she came running up to me and Gerry and said, "I think my heart just got broken." To this day, we still repeat little Daisy's phrase whenever we can't quite figure out where the hurt is coming from!

As a closing artistic connection, how about this lovely Valentine that I received from my wise and wonderful friend Nancy T. I like the way that the pink landscape, if you glance just right, resembles an organic human heart, rather than two trees and a clump of floral earth! Do you see it?

Words, painting, and calligraphy
by Renee Locks
, 1997

***************

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Saturday, February 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com


Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

5 comments:

  1. *Written after hearing Yo - Yo Ma in concert:

    #2 Red Note
    by Tammy Sandel

    A blood red thread runs through the chapters of my life, stitching them together, feeding the future from the past like an artery.

    Some of my chapter titles are the names of men. Of boys. Of my boys. Of animal friends. Some are titled with women's names, those women who invited me into the intimacy of birthing their child.

    And some chapters are simply Moments.

    Like the one last night at a concert that showed me skill beyond talent, showed me giftedness fully formed and fully embraced in joy. There was a moment when Yo-Yo Ma played a note - not a fermata, not a finale, just one rich note in the middle of Falla's lush andante tranquillo "Asturiana" - and as he held that note and the piano faded away, the air conditioner in the concert hall turned itself off. In that moment, the air pressure changed, the air itself changed, and the quiet fell like a velvet cushion to hold the note. Where it sparkled like a jewel.

    It was twenty-four hours ago, and I still haven't caught my breath. I hope I never do.

    I hope for as long as I live, I feel that Cello Note Chapter and every other scarlet letter, every red word in my book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. **Tammy writes:

    I know they've headed south (smart wee birds), but this came to me today...

    Zoom Hover Reverse.
    (tlks 12/12/14)

    Alternate realities put me in the center of a Venn diagram. The intersecting circles pen me in with iridescent wings.

    Living labile demands strength. Trying to notice and feel and say every thing to every one you love? Zoom.

    Wishing, dreaming, imagining is exhilarating. And time consuming. Hover.

    Second guessing, guilt, and regrets exhaust. Reverse.

    Do you see that I feed you with the meat of my racing heart?
    It's the only way I know how to be.

    So.

    I must
    Identify the things that drain my power. I might have to edit them.

    I must
    Fall asleep like the hummingbird at night, cold and stiff in stasis, the mini-death she needs to recharge.

    I must
    Fuel myself with high octane food and intentions 70 times a day.

    I must
    Pace myself (it's hard when you're designed without a walk).

    I must
    Feather my nest and nurture my young, delight in their squeak and leap.

    I must
    Chase the eagles away. Go! I am an acrobat-- zoom, hover, reverse. (No other bird can reverse!) When I'm not weary, I am fearless; I am fierce.

    I must
    Fly to the red, savor it in tiny sips.

    I must
    Point it out to you and share it.

    I must
    Open my beak and drink when you share it with me.

    I must
    Accept that all this humming is life.

    And most

    I must
    Flash my ruby throat
    And dance on air.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Kite, Tammy's poetry is gorgeous. Another gorge reference. I'll have to send you my dentist poem. But really, so good to read her beautiful work. Thank you. Inspires me to keep at it. So you inspire too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Kite, Tammy's poetry is gorgeous. Another gorge reference. I'll have to send you my dentist poem. But really, so good to read her beautiful work. Thank you. Inspires me to keep at it. So you inspire too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bouncing back from two days of horrible stomach virus, I thanked Gerry for seeing me thru the "dark night of the soul," and he said, "Don't you mean the dark night of the tummy?" Fits right with what Tammy was telling Austin, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete