When traveling though new terrain, it is common for people to be stimulated by new sites, sounds, and smells. Quite often, the wandering traveler will drift in the direction that calls to them, listening to their heart, or stomach (or other parts that drive them), in order to explore the magic that exists in the new.
The new is glorious. The new is fresh. The new inspires and transforms. The new is addictive and compelling. Or not. But when the new is all of those things, the new can sprout seeds that grow, in time, and will lead to unforeseen change…
Compared to the traveler who knows their destination, the wanderer may flutter about, this way and that, like a leaf falling horizontally across the earth, magnetically attracted to attractions and settling only for a while, the traveler who is clear about their destination, may venture in a different manner. The difference between the two can be striking, and the rout may appear more direct. When the traveler is accustomed to the path being traveled, it is easy for the traveler to overlook the sites, sounds, and smells along the way. In fact, the normalized path being traveled can easily become a blur if and when the traveler decides to speed through the path. Perhaps it is the pace at which the traveler travels that is one of the more significant factors that will determine the degree to which the traveler will absorb the goods along the path. Surely, the mindful traveler will make effective use of the full experience of the journey.
I woke up one day and found myself racing along a path just before my crash. I was racing along a path that I know well. I had been there before and taken for granted the sights, sounds, and smells on the path. And it was only moments before I crashed that I recognized the path.
I noticed the path that I was on because I was falling off of the path. And when I fell, I fell into other familiar spaces. These spaces along the path provided a perfect view of the path and others racing along the path as well. Only then did I see all the beauty around me. And while the breeze that blew past me, evidence of the speed at which I traveled, made it hard to see all that was around me, my eyes and my body slowly adjusted to the stillness I felt, despite my heart racing and craving the pace I had become used to. And my pride, once roaring like a lion, now compelled me to position my body as if I was only just resting. But in reality, like a wounded beast, like a lion injured while in pursuit of sustenance, my posturing was only a front to keep any threats at bay, for I could not run or keep up the pace that I had taken for granted only moments before. And when the threats, both imagined and real, we gone, I searched and searched for my injuries. But they were not physical injuries. My injuries were internal and had affected my internal workings as well as my spirit.
When people break a bone in their body, depending on how bad the break is, people generally receive treatment that requires them to rest that part of the body. They conscientiously do not use that part of the body in order to allow it to heal, get stronger, and reset. A consequence may be, depending on the part of the body that has been injured, that the injured area may lose mass and appear smaller than the healthier part (as in the case of a broken left arm compared to a healthy right arm after a month of being unused), or, as in the case of a broken leg, a person may gain weight because of an inability to remain as active as they had previously been. In extreme cases, a broken bone may need to be severed from the body. If the bone is irreperable, it can cause infection that could spread and lead to death. This is true for a part of the body that is as small as a tooth or large as a leg. The now “dead” body part must be severed or the consequences can be fatal.
But what to do with a broken heart? Is it possible to not use it anymore? Or is that a natural consequence of the heart being shattered? Does it shut down automatically? Should we favor a different part of the body? What will be the long term consequence of resting the heart? We cannot discard the heart or sever it from the body. Can we remove it mentally? Emotionally? I’m sure many can. And many do. But me, I cannot fathom it. It feels as though it will rot away, fester and eat at all of the particles of my being. What to do? What to do? What to do?