Logic and The Heart
I have a friend who misses something in the South. An unworkable situation tangled with regret and love and the knowledge that it can’t be made workable and life must go on as it is. None of that stops the heart wanting what it wants, “Ulysses Everett McGill: Pete, it’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.” Truer words have never been spoken as I too have always missed people and things in the South: magnolias, soft summer nights, tea that is brewed as God intended and most of all my daughter. Now she and her wife have given me two more people to miss. Twin girls to add to my list of things to cry about as I get out of the car at the airport to return to the dry beautiful elitism of Colorado. Every time I say I won’t cry and every trip I do, just as I did every school year when I took Morgan to the first day of school and cried all the way to my school and then later work. Leavings are just painful no matter what you do.
I grew up in Texas and while it’s different than Georgia (of course it is don’t be ridiculous!) it is also similar in many ways. I don’t miss the racism and dogs living outside on chains and the knowledge easily witnessed that the Civil War is alive and well. Rebel flags hanging everywhere with their double and triple meanings some overt and others clandestine but very present. I don’t like that social workers are paid about the same as fast food workers. I don’t like that if I think working in the field of sexual assault issues is tough here it’s unimaginably uphill there where sports players are the 2nd ranking practitioners of religion right next to the Baptists. And I should specify Southern Baptists and also say not everyone is rigid and judgmental but things in the South move slowly and that includes attitudes toward women.
The South feels so damn old to me. It is both majestic and romantically grand at the same time bent with age and crippled badly. I hate sentimentalism and war. Noble ideas are one thing people dying from bullets and starvation and exposure to the elements is quite another. Open meadows bring to mind scores and scores of those who died slave and soldier alike. Families changed forever in good ways for some and tragic for others and a little of both was had by all in my opinion. Those kinds of changes take generations to heal from if they ever do. I drive through the Southern states and in that swampy air I smell Sorrow, as if the air itself still softly weeps for it’s painful past.
Still the heart yammers on murmuring to itself in spite of your frequent admonishments to STFU. We can live years even lifetimes stuck in the circular path of conflicting desires. I want to be here in Colorado. I want to be in the Atlanta area with my daughter and her new family. I want to be here. I want to be there. I slowly go insane trying to solve what at this moment appears to be unsolvable. I’m sure anyone reading this blog has felt the need to try and logically argue the heart out of its yearning nonsense. I know for sure all of us who have tried have failed to some degree.
So what do we do? Pray. Meditate. Use Young Living oil blends by the gallon to handle the anxiety and conflict. Go to work, to the gym and breathe in and out. Return again and again to the present moment ,as in “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV and what not.
Lately I’ve learned that the more hands off I am when life presents me with
confounded conundrums they almost miraculously resolve themselves with time. Chop wood, carry water; slap on the Stress Away and nag the daughter for pictures of my granddaughters.