I did not know my own heart.
Her shouts had become whispers until I developed a heart murmur. I was so very skilled at argumentation that I had everyone convinced, including myself, that my feet were not walking to a different drumbeat than the one that my heart pounded.
Slowly, my light began to go out. I guess my heart couldn’t bear to see all the jarring features of this wrong path- the bracken, the exposed roots in muddy ground, dark birds whose eyes gleamed of Hades and hopelessness- so she slowly ceased shining.
All was darkness. Still, I pretended that what was dark was light. I told boldfaced lies into other peoples’ faces because my early home training indicated that one had no self outside of the dutiful daughter self.
Then, one day that we should all be blessed to encounter, my heart dropped down the cavern of my body and fell out of womb to the ground. People were careless, they stepped on it and even pointed and whispered, wondering what it was, but I was careful. Finally. I dropped to the ground after it. I ignored the others. I took a glass cover and placed it over my heart, so in danger of drying up on the surface of the cold winter earth.
I whispered to her. I brought her drink and food and scent and song. I cajoled her back to health. And when she was strong again, she climbed into my chest, happily swinging around the monkey bars of my rib cage. She thumped and I sang. She pirouetted and I swam around in her oceans for the very first time. I kept all these juices for myself, to drink deeply and be drunk on my own essences.
This is how I came home to myself.