Against barren rocks I
slam it hammer it it push it.
Pausing only to wipe the blood
and dirt from my eyes.
I break my own heart.
Like a stubborn child
I will not listen to reason,
or be held
in loving arms.
I choose instead to run
toothless and cackling
through the streets.
My knuckles raw from pounding,
filthy with pain,
blind with rage.
My heart broken.
I wrote that poem in 1992 and continue to write varying versions of it regularly. It is the underlying thread in the fabric of my life.
I can see my crazy choices as I’m making them, but I make them anyway. For the most part I don’t mind. I know that the cosmos/my subconscious/whatever contains deeper reasoning that I don’t always see right away. I have long since stopped regretting past bad decisions because I know I had no alternative but to make them. I am not here to be content. Some of us can sort that, and most of us get to be content some of the time. But there are bigger fish to fry. And hopefully, we learn something with each dubious choice and make a slightly better one on the next go-round.
The last couple of days have been difficult for me emotionally because of a relationship that I want very much to sort. I lead a blessed life, I am surrounded by love, I am offered cosmopolitan experiences at every turn. This weekend alone I was treated to a free dinner and drinks at a cunty new hotel and the next day handed tickets, champagne, and stellar company to see Kiki and Herb’s sold out, brain-meltingly good show. On top of that I had deep, loving conversations with close people in my life. I am so very grateful for all that I have.
And yet many times I choose to focus on the smaller things. I choose impossible situations for myself and then rail at the sky when they prove to be impossible. I love people who aren’t equipped to love me back the way that I need, I ingest things that are unhealthy for my body, I don’t sleep because I’m festering. I don’t create because I’m too busy destroying.
Someone I am very close to is experiencing some difficult mental machinations right now as well, and as I sat quietly, for once, thinking about it all, one word came bubbling to the surface and hung there in my brain in neon lights.
We are all sorting through the debris of trauma in our lives. Small trauma, large trauma, doesn’t matter. Each one of us is hurting in some way. We are putting back pieces, starting bands, raising kids, working jobs, behaving as if we are sane when madness lies just under the surface, waiting for a mere scratch to come bubbling up and taint everything with anxiety and harsh words and pills popped. It’s a miracle we can all get up and do anything under the weight of all the trauma we have experienced.
Seeing this word caused a dam to break inside of my heart. Suddenly I have so much compassion for myself. For my friends. For those who have wronged me. We are all doing the best we can under our own varied circumstances. We must be gentle and forgiving with ourselves and with each other, it’s the only way to keep the madness, the sadness, the badness at bay.
That’s all I’ve got for you today.
4 thoughts on “I Break My Own Heart”
Yes. Trauma and damage and learning not to expect people to do what they cannot do and sorting out what we can and cannot do. I guess some people have an easy life. I've known some and they are no better or worse than anyone else. Struggle and damage do not equal nobility and having an easier time does not equal stupidity. (I'm talking to myself here, thinking aloud on your blog, not addressing directly.) Anyway, I love reading what you write and I love you. ❤
Love this and you xoxoxo
This is epic in so many ways I can't even begin to use some unworthy words TK describe how deeply meaningful and beautiful it is. I'm just gobsmacked. Not only is the writng behind honest and superb for me it's kind of a life altering spear into the heart of everything I've been feeling everything I've fine through and what I see around me in loved ones friends and some strangers. It's all right there. Jesus Effin Christ…you, Raff, are MAGNIFICENT! Thank you.
Just the other day I was wondering if I am suffering from PTSD. Louis CK said he is suffering from PTSD due to all the shit he went through trying to build his career. He was serious. Then he went and made “Horace and Pete” a true work of art. In any case, it made me think about how much my life changed after 9/11. It went from being a bit Holly Golightly to Goliath. And I believe I am using the trauma to block myself up. So much to let go of, and yet it's all a part of who I am (which is probably why I replay it so often, even when given the chance to change things up). I honestly don't know where to draw the line. I believe I will figure it out. I still have time to create some more. So do you. In every area of your life. The parts that are meaningful this time around.