Spirit is a word that means courage and character. Heart is a word that means spirit and empathy; kindness if you wish. I’ve wondered all my life, but more so in such tumultuous times, as to the true connection of the Spirit of the Heart. Spirit has many monikers that are attached to the human psyche. Heart is what beats to the rhythm of life. When either stop humankind are affected for all of time.
So I decided to combine these two words and name us SPIRITHEARTS…
Humankind, whether aware of it or not, are storytellers. In fact, our life story is not about our life, it is our life. Storytelling is a forever occurrence in the lifespan of humankind and even more so when those in our story depart this life. We oftentimes celebrate their story in the form of a eulogy or other traditions around the world.
By way of storytelling, a eulogy is a time that recalls the essence of a loved one. Each eulogy paints—sometimes in muted colors and other times bold— reflective memories held in a moment in a place in a time. Laughter and tears and smells and tastes that drift in the memory of those gathered to mourn. Eulogies allow us to speak on behalf of a voice silenced by mortality; soundless goodbyes for the SPIRITHEART of remembrance.
In the Serengeti, every year between the wet and dry season, the elephants migrate hundreds of miles at great peril to their younglings and themselves. Yet to not migrate is a death sentence to this Keystone specie. As I write this, the words death sentence catches my thoughts as we watch humankind do the same all across Mother Earth.
My family migrated too, from Brazil and Italy and England and by Wagon Train. Their intention was a better life in America for themselves and those of us yet to be born. In so many ways THEY built the America we were to be raised in and taught us the value of a place called HOME.
Today I’m conflicted about humankind migration because the media of every flavor spins THE STORY in so many ways. So I go back to the voice of those who came before me. Their intention was a better life and education for their children and FREEDOM. Freedom is a word that means free expression so I ask: If one who is not allowed a voice arrives in a place that does, what are the consequences to them and the country they now live in?
How I wished I’d have asked that question of those who came before me. I’ve never known anything else but liberty—Migrate…Integrate…Assimilate…Build!
Like the elephants, humankind will forever migrate. The Serengeti Elephants eat 350 pounds of food a day. If their droppings were not left behind there would be no fertilization for the grasslands to grow and that would change and ultimately destroy the Serengeti and all its inhabitants as we know it today.
Yet again Mother Earth speaks on our behalf…But are we listening?
It was the voice of my Italian grandmother who used to say things like: “…you kids grow too fast. Slow down. Smell my roses; they not last either.” I, of course heard her, but did I listen? No, not really. Her message was imprisoned in my youth. But today, yes the first day of 2015 at around ten at night I heard: “…see, I tell you the truth.”
I wonder what Maria would think of humankind these days—so far removed from the immigrants struggling in the coal mining camps of her day. For Heaven’s sakes we are now searching for answers in the Cosmos and losing sight of our neighbor next door. Don’t get me wrong, I find significance in knowledge. But more, I find hopefulness in the storytelling of those who came before us. The ones who warned us to slow down… “Tomorrow waits for no one.”
2015: Who among you will dare to smell a rose or listen to the laughter of a child or remember the voices of those who came before or hold an aged hand and ask: “What do you mean grandmother that I grow too fast? After all: LIFE IS INTENTION!
Story is a word that means chronicle, narrative, legend, fable etc. But Story Itself, well that’s different. How do I know? My clients taught me. What my clients continue to teach is that each voice is a powerful tool. And, that each human being has a unique memory voice that does not change over time. It just rests in the ether of silence; that is, unless someone inquires.
The ITSELF cadence of a STORY looks something like this…
At the beginning of an interview client voices are quiet, unsure and falter between thoughts. But once they trust their individual cadence they never waiver.
The pace of how a client breathes between words discloses their unique speaking voice.
The easiest disclosures are about what they love, who they love and why they love.
How they love is revealed in a pause between words or a subtle deep breath.
I feel their disappointments that rest in the tone of their voice and the pace of their telling.
Their choice of word informs me that they are happy, afraid, joyous or sorrowful.
When quieting their speaking voice they are about to reveal a secret.
To laugh aloud at their own words means they just learned something about themselves.
Regrets are never given freely; but, a long-held breath or a deep sigh says it all.
Hope, on the other hand, is expressed fully and genuinely.
I’ve learned to listen closely to inflections and word choice. These reveal intention.
During transcription there are deep sighs, long pauses and even dead space. Sometimes I can garner a meaning; but most often the space is for their remembering.
All clients say: “…my life was just so ordinary.” But, their intonation in speaking these words begins, maybe for the first time ever, to cause them to wonder what ordinary really means.
A long time ago I was told, compassionately, that sometimes heartbreak will live within us for a lifetime. I accept this premise, yet when heartbreak becomes legacy, well that’s a horse of a different color.
Our first heartbreak is as we leave the caretaking of a mother’s womb and progresses from there: but the form it takes differs for each of us. Therefore, if heartbreak is truly a given why should we care about IT?
We should care because when heartbreak rules our persona—and doesn’t just stand as a lesson learned—we become THE HEARBREAK and that legacy keeps us from living a perhaps life. Perhaps had this or that heartbreak not made me—go ahead, list your justifications here.
Heartbreak is both adversary and ally and we ought to choose how or if it presides over life.
There’s a book I’m reading that unexpectedly shed light on how humankind can be as one; even if for a single moment each evening.
To lay the groundwork I quote from the book: “The Story of Earth” by Robert M. Hazen that says in part: “…The over-whelming majority of those first atoms were hydrogen—more than 90 percent of all atoms—with a few percent helium and a trace of lithium thrown in. That mix of elements formed the first stars.” Hazen continues with a chapter on “First Light.” It was then that I caught the light…
What if, without the customary spin on how, why, when or if we are to look at the stars, “We the Peoples of Earth” step outside and look up anyway at what twinkles equally above our homes? It is here we offer hope to one another that plant the seeds of a renewed “First Light.”
Oh, and God, well is not that life-force also the stars?