Guard the heart of your world too tightly,
and you may fail to discover what's true.
Hand-dyed merino wool, landrace batt wool,
wet felted, resist-formed, blocked.
Photograph by Douglas Foulke
Ah, the heart. The shelter for all we feel and desire. The guardian of what we love and hold precious. Our most trusted vessel, the one that guides, directs, and pushes forward can so easily become the vessel that tells us not to trust. The guardian becomes guarded and what was once the vessel to hold others dear becomes the force to keep them out.
How deep is that line within? The one we know not to cross, the etched mark born out of experience. The line that has come from every life lesson ever taught at our expense and now shouts instructions to pull away, hold back, close up shop and to not get involved. What was once an inviting shelter, our chest of treasures, that place to seek and find, has somehow evolved, ever so slowly, into a lonely hollow cavern, echoing back memories of who we used to be, when we were free.
There’s something admirable about those who can travel life’s journeys and never feel a cut too deeply, never create a barrier that stops one in his or her tracks. Instead, they collect and gather abundantly and their heart is so full, it must be bound up simply to keep all it contains from spilling out.
Therein lies the nub. As with any physical shelter we might come across, it’s impossible to know what’s really inside, until we venture in and see. And from the outside looking in, there’s really no telling who is open and who is not, until we share ourselves enough try and find out.