beneath my heart

Yesterday was not a good day to be an Easter Egg. Actually it was, it was one of those days when what you think you are doing becomes something so much more than you imagined and as a result – doors open. Opportunities are seen. Choices presented.

Some of you know what I am referencing when I mention “being an Easter Egg” and some of you do not. It is a reference to the insanely mismatched and brightly colored “uniform” I wear when I am out and about doing my hospice thing. It is less about trying to present a cheery image then in dressing in a manner where I can be seen by people with failing eyesight and depth perception. It cuts down on anxiety for all parties when they can tell where I am in a room.

My 2-hour visit yesterday turned into a 5-hour-6-sets-of-latex-gloves kind of experience.

I come back to the rest of the world after an experience like that and something shifts. I desire a kind of solitude that is so full it is almost noisy, and yet I cannot tolerate being around most people. My BS meter gets hypersensitive.

In fact, this has been a hospice heavy week and each time has been one of those moments of the universe holding something up in front of me, hoping I will see it before it has to resort to slapping me in the face with it. I am trying to pay closer attention and avoid the slaps in the face part.

So here I am today – again out on hospice, but able to sit and write in the quiet (while it lasts) and my thoughts are circling back to Nigel’s painting and its poem.

Writing “John” or whatever the name will eventually be is difficult. I think because of what I saw/read when I posted the painting of John in the blog, some of the comments revealed something about the painting and the viewer that I have to figure out how to handle in the poem.

Some people looked at the painting and saw despair, I think mostly because it was a depiction of an older man that really focused on how weathered his face was. There was a difference in the comments by country – the Americans read the painting as despair and pain, the Canadians and Europeans tended to see a quiet peace and contentment born of a life of ups and downs. It was interesting to note that.

I thought too about “the heart of failure” the recording of mine that Nigel listened to endlessly while creating the painting. In the “heart of failure” is the line “the heart of failure lies in solitude.” I have spent years wondering about that line (I wrote and recorded it in 2001). I kept feeling like I should change it because that general sentiment is that the quote unquote failure of the heart lies in isolation but that solitude is something good and beneficial.

I think I am beginning to understand why I could never change that line. Solitude is a beneficial necessity in life, I think, for growth and all that. But it is not a place one can stay or the heart fails, it suffers from the loss of receptive love. It grows dim without being able to give and to be able to receive.

I thought about this yesterday while my legs were cramping as I crouched in a dimly lit bathroom, swathed in pathogen protection gear, splattered with feces and talking to a client about what they wanted at their wake.

Shift and change. Grow and become. I don’t think that having a solid idea of what one is becoming is realistic, a direction yes – but even with directions we can never fully imagine the extent of what may come.

Ok…it is going to be another quiet day today.

c.2011. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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