Monday, August 4, 2008

"what a beautiful piece of heartache / this has all turned out to be... " - Over the Rhine

There is not much to be said on the day of a child's funeral.

At least, nothing that means much.

I was listening to Over the Rhine last night, and they come close, but still so far away.

And I was thinking of some Barbara Kingsolver words from Animal Dreams. I think I've quoted them before, but they're so real and right. Someone is talking to Codi, I think it's Doc Homer, but I can't remember who..anyway, they say:

"Why do you suppose the poets talk about hearts? When they discuss emotional damage? The tissue of hearts is as tough as a shoe. Did you ever sew a heart? The seat of human emotion should be the liver. That would be the appropriate metaphor: we don't hold love in our hearts, we hold it in our liver."

I understood exactly. Once in the ER, I saw a woman who'd been stabbed everywhere, most severely in the liver. It's an organ with the consistency of layer upon layer of wet kleenex. Every attempt at repair just opens new holes that tear and bleed. You try to close the wound with fresh wounds and you try and try and don't give up til there's nothing left.

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