The Anatomy of Peace (formerly titled "How to Live With My Body")
Updated: Aug 29, 2021
my brain and heart divorced
a decade ago
over who was to blame about how big of a mess I have become
eventually, they couldn't be in the same room with each other
now my head and heart share custody of me
I stay with my brain during the week
and my heart gets me on weekends
they never speak to one another
- instead, they give me the same note to pass to each other every week
and their notes they send to one another always says the same thing:
"This is all your fault"
on Sundays my heart complains about how my head has let me down in the past
and on Wednesdays my head lists all of the times my heart has screwed things up for me in the future
they blame each other for the state of my life
there's been a lot of yelling - and crying
lately, I've been spending a lot of time with my gut
who serves as my unofficial therapist
most nights, I sneak out of the window in my ribcage
and slide down my spine and collapse on my gut's plush leather chair that's always open for me
~ and I just sit sit sit sit until the sun comes up
last evening, my gut asked me if I was having a hard time being caught between my heart and my head
I said I didn't know if I could live with either of them anymore
"my heart is always sad about something that happened yesterday while my head is always worried about something that may happen tomorrow," I lamented
my gut squeezed my hand
"I just can't live with my mistakes of the past or my anxiety about the future," I sighed
my gut smiled and said:
"in that case, you should go stay with your lungs for a while,"
I was confused - the look on my face gave it away
"if you are exhausted about your heart's obsession with the fixed past and your mind's focus on the uncertain future
your lungs are the perfect place for you
there is no yesterday in your lungs there is no tomorrow there either
there is only now there is only inhale there is only exhale there is only this moment
there is only breath
and in that breath you can rest while your heart and head work their relationship out."
this morning, while my brain was busy reading tea leaves
and while my heart was staring at old photographs
I packed a little bag and walked to the door of my lungs
before I could even knock she opened the door with a smile and as a gust of air embraced me she said
"what took you so long?"
~ john roedel (johnroedel.com)
A video reading of the poem can be found by following this link.
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