I can remember my Heart. It was not a blood-pumping battery of striated, biochemical filaments. It was a star. I can remember it was all I ever had- all I ever knew or needed. It was not the kind of star that you see in the heavens that burn so hot all forms dissolve in their embrace. It was the kind of star you could hold in the palm of your hand, and watch its cool white glow, and see the gentle pulsing of its breathing.
It was the kind of star that could take you anywhere.
I could enter my Heart and come out deep in the ocean, drifting alongside a pod of blue whales. I could enter my Heart and come out high in the limbs of a redwood tree, surrounded by cool breeze and the night calls of owls. I could enter my Heart and come out on the prairie, standing still in high grass, watching in the distance as a train crept along in a steady procession of blackened steel. I could enter my Heart and come out inside of you… as you could in me.
* * * * *
I think we have the same Heart.
I think It’s a portal system that connects everything together, that makes every distant point a hair’s width away, like the two sides of coin. When we step into our Heart, if you spin around and look behind you, and I spin around me and look behind me, we’d probably be seeing one another. I don’t see how anything could exist, or be alive, and not be connected to our Heart.
* * * * *
Something happened, anyway, and I have not gotten fully back inside our Heart for quite some time. It’s like we’re together, but we’re not. It’s like I went somewhere and I can’t quite find my way back to It, but at the same time I can never be without It. I know our Heart is out there, because I can still feel it, but I’m all full of effort now, and specifics, and ideas by which it won’t abide. I never had those things before. Lately I can’t shake ’em loose.
I followed the trail to this great forest, and I know our Heart is tucked away inside of it somewhere, waiting for me, and me it. We’re going to join back up with Everything. I think Everything that is, is waiting for me to get back to it, because I’ve been strangely absent. But I’ve been stuck in this forest for as long as I can remember.
The forest is strange. It’s full of weeds and thick branches, walls of thicket and vine. It’s hard to move around in it. Someone told me once what all those were. He said they were thoughts and feelings I had covered over my Heart- things I had tried to make true that weren’t, and so my Heart could’t hold ’em. He said I had made this forest by thinking and believing I was something I wasn’t.
* * * * *
At first I wanted to break that Man in half, but now I see it’s true. He’s a good Man. Today I asked Him to come back and help me see straight again. Straight through this crazy forest. He told me He would help anytime.
First thing He asked me to do was give Him my axe. I said we’d need it to get through the trees and vines. We couldn’t hardly walk ten feet without it. He just asked me to give Him that axe, and finally I did.
Then He asked for my map. I didn’t know how He knew I had a map, but anyway, that map had everything I ever learned stalking through this forest for the past umpty-ump years, and I was determined that it wasn’t going, too. I told Him that. He told me the map was wrong, and that it wasn’t my fault. He told me I couldn’t teach myself how to be a better self. He told me reflections can’t suddenly decide to be the source of their own light. He had a point, and so I gave Him the map.
I started off down the trail that leads out of camp, then, and He asked me where I was going. I told Him I had given everything up, everything I had, and now it was time to find my way back to our Heart.
He told me the trails had to go, too.
You can imagine my incredulity. While I was making up my mind, nothing was really happening. This went on for days, but He just waited while I stalked around camp like one of those bears that’s raised in captivity its whole life, and is uncertain whether or not to move through an open door when it is presented.
Finally, I agreed.
I thought when I gave up the trails I had made that the trees would fill right in or something, and turn the whole place into an impenetrable thicket, but instead the forest just opened up, like the whole thing was a garden. The trees were suddenly limbed-up, and flowers had burst into color where patches of light shone down through gaps in the canopy, and a person could walk just about anywhere with ease. I was astonished!
* * * * *
I started off again, nearly trotting along so filled was I with joy and anticipation, when He stopped me once more. He looked right into me, and then He pointed to the forest, and He told me I couldn’t cross that distance. I turned to look at it, and I saw the most beautiful forest I had ever seen, stretching as far as we could see. He told me I could walk forever if I wanted, but I would never cross it. Not by walking across it. But, He told me, I could give it up. I could give up that distance without ever crossing it.
I gulped mightily as you may imagine.
I walked around camp for quite some time. I asked Him to go away for a while and let me think. I got a deranged look in my eye and I grew a long beard. I lived on scraps I found that appeared from time to time in camp, and He came periodically to check on me, bringing warm coffee and rolls. We talked about simple things. I wore myself down to a nub debating the futility of walking into that forest, in search of our Heart, in search of the only Reality I had ever needed.
On one of His visits I happened to see something in His eyes, something like compassion and like an ocean, and I couldn’t resist any longer. I wanted to let go of all of it, every last thing I knew about this place and my reason for being in it. I reached for Him. His heart enveloped me, and that’s the last thing I remember.
* * * * *
This… here… in the palm of my hand. This is our Heart. It can take us anywhere.