To get to know your heart, sometimes you have to sit in the dark. No night light. No flash light. No moon light. No stars. Alone, except for the ghosts flitting around you. And the wolf over by the window. And the snake in the corner. It’s so dark you can’t even read the clock.

No time and no light: Just you and what you think, spinning in your head. You and what you keep trying not to feel, pounding on your chest. You and your tears, clogging up your throat. You and your fears, tightening your butt. You, all rumbly in the belly. So heavy, all.

It can’t get darker or scarier, and you cry: Help! It’s your best and only prayer. So simple, so feeble, so without pretense or hope or expectation. It’s the best you can do and it breaks your heart.

Thank goodness for that.

And your heart, it keeps breaking.

And breaking.

And then you notice her. How long had she been there right under you?

She is tender and strong at once. And she’s holding you.

Not once does she tell you you’re too much, too heavy. She soaks up tears. She holds your breaking heart. She plants the heaviness of all the messes you’ve gotten into and tried to weasel out of in her fertile dark richness. You cry and cry and she doesn’t mind.

You open your eyes and now you can see in the dark. Oh my goodness: the wolf was a lamp. The snake was a bathrobe belt. The night air is like satin on your skin and you let it caress your tired arms. It tousles your hair and kisses your sweaty brow.

You let the darkness have you: the earth under you, the cool night air around you.

It’s not true, after all, that you were an orphan.

There’s an urgent swelling inside you now: Life. It awaits!

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