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Asthmatic

Dear Whoever-Reads-These-Kinds-of-Things,

I’ve been silent for too long.  Not at all silent with my voice, but silent with my heart.  And that, dear readers, is the worst kind of silence.  As I’m writing, it begins to speak again.  Or at least it’s trying.  It lets out a few pitiful wheezes and coughs, sputters, then tries again.  I’m pretty sure if my heart could be portrayed as a human, it would be asthmatic, a stutterer, and be said to have a severe case of social anxiety. 

So what does this nuerotic asthmatic heart have to say for itself?  It goes something like this: whiz-spurs-sputz-purrs-zizz-zip-pop-pop-pop-zizz-sputz-whiz.   There’s a medical term for this, and I think it goes by the name ‘heart palpitations’ but whizz-pop sounds less ominous, even fun.  One could almost set a tune by it.  

See, it’s never as bad as it sounds.  For one, I have a talent for stating things in the most dramatic fashion possible, and while this lends itself well to creative writing, it does not necessarily lend itself to a relaxed daily life.   There’s striving, and then there’s strife.  I tend to engage in way too much of the later and not enough of the former. 

Trying.  Maybe that’s what this is about.  Reviving myself, my writing. Trying to do better, be better, feel better.  I’m wanting to be present in my thoughts and words, not just booming them from the balcony like some smug dues-ex-machina jerk-face.

*     *     *     *     *    *

Both my heart and my writing have taken a back-seat for too long.  I may have forgotten how to use either of them.  I have a little theory: if I use my heart well enough, strengthen it bit by bit, then I’ll remember how to write.  It will be like doing calisthenics for gym class.  I’m like the scrawny kid who can’t do a proper pull-up, dangling from the bar with monkey arms, straining  to pull myself all the way up. 

So, dear reader, please be patient with me while I rebuild my strength.  It’s funny because the heart is, of course, actually a muscle.  Funny, powerful in a way, that we can reduce something so profound and abstract into something as concrete as human tissue.  

Perhaps analyzing and distilling something to the point of complete science is just one of many mechanisms we’ve created for protecting it.  While this process is the foundation of most modern thought and science, it’s also unbelievably handy as a means to protect ourselves from almost anything that involves too many ‘variables’.  It’s comforting to have the ability, the control to categorize and sort things into nice little boxes. 

Then one day you stumble onto something that doesn’t fit into a box. Any kind of box. Anywhere.  You sigh. Label it as a congenital defect and put it back on the shelf.  But it sits there in the closet and howls.  Howls and howls until you take it down off the shelf, look at it, and dare to hold it next to you.  The howling turns to anger then crying, but somehow, what with its defect and all, it turns to laughter, and not just any laughter.  Ridiculously vibrant, full-on, eyes-sparkling kind of laughter. 

And this a heart, you say?  I don’t know, but I imagine even an asthmatic could run a marathon with a little bit of training.  With that, a toast to a decent warm-up lap, with many more to run.

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