Soothing/Smoothing Heartache

Back Seat

They call it heartache/heart break.

You can find references to it in any romance novel (any novel?):  she/he felt as if her/his heart were breaking.

Even little children feel it.  At one point when we were trying to train our oldest child, a toddler then, to go to sleep in her own bed, by herself (i.e. without mom), she sniffed to the emissary who’d been sent to comfort her:  “tell mommy that my heart is full of tears.”

Okay, she was a poetic toddler, a toddler who had had a lot of classic books read aloud to her.

Still, even as a small child, she knew what scientists have only relatively recently confirmed–that grief actually manifests itself in the chest; that one’s heart really does hurt when one is sad.

What can be done about it?

Acknowledgement helps.  Even in the moments I’ve sat here and written about it, the pain feels a little bit soothed.

I hesitate to call this writing “art”.  But it is a kind of shaping, limning.  In writing or drawing at any level, you become an archetypical portraitist, leaning back (at least a bit) from your subject–one arm extended, one thumb up–literally getting perspective.

“Shaping” –  I think of a pair of hands handling clay–getting its dimensions, its contours, containing it, patting it.  There is, in those manipulations, a kind of caress.  Sort of like child’s forehead, in a mother’s lap now, in the backseat of a slightly old-time car (not particularly air-conditioned), the mother’s hands smoothing the forehead lightly, as the wheels turn.

Explore posts in the same categories: Vicissitudes of Life

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