Cover Photo: "Inner Flower" By Emily Metcalf
"Inner Flower" By Emily Metcalf

Soothing the Heart

"As the phoenix flies high into the sky above, it rises into the deep and open atmosphere."

Beside the ashes of my broken heart, I see the phoenix spread its wings. Coughing out fire, its feathers glow with the golden blue iridescence of transcendence; another story unfurled, another chasm with light shed upon it; many more to come.

My body aches with the repercussions of such healing. My body and mind slow down and I spend hours soaking in hot water, listening to silence, listening to chanting, listening to fervent Vivaldi. The phone rings and I let it. I do not want to be interrupted. My grief thanks me.

My head spins and aches from hours spent listening to the indolent tunes of my broken heart. This music has settled for years here, in my heart, in my muscles, in my nerves, in my bones and flesh. I feel somewhat at peace knowing that I have come so far. Sometimes I have to remember that I am not the person I was. I am not the blackness that rests within me, though I carry her; her heaviness and sadness like a crown of thorns.

My feet settle into the soft earth as I walk. I can only walk on the grass and the dirt. It hurts too much to pound my joints on the pavement. I cannot hear there. Years spent in ardent and isolated determination to plug through another five mile walk, another two hour yoga class. We can make anything blind.

To truly see, I have found that I need stillness and quiet. Sometimes music helps to put abstract language to my meditation, my inner sight. My knitting supplements, my meditation in a restorative pose and my salted soaks where I bury my head in waves of healing water. Reading is my therapy; Eastern Body Western Mind, the Word, Orson Scott Card. Listening to my lover’s body, feelings and thoughts, is reverence for the time he took to be patient. It makes me feel closer to the human world. I settle into the sheets and feel his body next to mine. I listen. I listen for the deeper story in him. I listen to the deeper story in myself. The stories that are cashed deep in our hearts, under our skin, dressing our spirits with the colors of life.

This bird, one of many, takes flight and I wish it well. As the phoenix flies high into the sky above, it rises into the deep and open atmosphere. It goes on forever and eventually leaves my sight. But what it leaves in its place is calm. It is gentleness, love, generosity, understanding; both for myself and for others.

Emily's book "Glass Slippers: A Journey of Mental Illness" is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, and at Lopez Bookshop (Lopez, WA).  Blogger at [Creativity, Spirituality, Mental Illness] @moonflickerstone