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  • Let us remember that heartache is not a metaphor.

    We knew, as did the ancients, through intuition, personal magic, heart connections, music, that the ache of our hearts was never as they ached a metaphor, a sign, a symbol. It was real. We were in pain. Our bodies ached, from the heart place.

    We now have the science to support this. When your heart aches, you ache.

    And when your heart breaks, it really does break, you are broken. The verb lives.

    When your heart breaks, the songs tell the story, the volume at a screech, the volume at a whisker's whisper, the jive, the jazz, the ballad, tells what your scientific break feels like, to be human. Your body is broken when the unimaginable happens. You have been betrayed by life, circumstance, chance, love,----and it is always love,----and love knew the way, the ache, the thunder, the break which breaks down into further smaller aches.

    And it is true, people. The heart shattered spreads its small shatterings through the veins, the blood, the aortae, the bones, every hipbone connected to the leg bone, every lung connected to the breatheways, every heart connected to the smaller floating tiny hearts which made love bloom, which heard love die.

    We like science but we do not need science to tell us when we see the photographs, in turn, of 20 children who died, how we sob for---well we don't know what---but, yes, we do.

    It is that we know that pain is not a metaphor, that pain is not a symbol, the living, oddly, comically, terrifically, tearing us apart, simply shredding us to blood pieces,--well, it was always real. It was true. We loved.

    We 'heart'ed.

    But, people, we loved.

    Then we ached.

    Then we broke.

    When we are heartbroken, it is a physical thing.

    We can hear inside out own skeletal cages our own shards of love rattling around us.

    They are heartbroken, we say.

    Let us remember: an entire physical body becomes a heart at that point. Perilous to itself, at home with the secret knowledge of love, unable to see, wishing this body would go away, because other bodies went away, and the broken part of us is, for the moment, incomprehensible to itself.

    When we are heartbroken we are atolls of tissue, adrift inside ourselves. Our tissues become a wail chorale, we wail our bodies blue.

    It is pure feeling.

    It is a body of pain.

    This is the song we sing.

    We are heart-broken.

    We are, as we have always been, among the broken-hearted of the universe. Amen.


    (Sketch/painting by Susan)
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