I inherited a big heart,
or maybe I just brought it back.
Abuela Carmen, my Spanish grandma, has a big heart; one that opens the house to strangers and feeds them with nurturing love and tenderness. Her heart cooks delicious food, laughs after lunch, and smiles within when seeing people happy and well fed.
Nonna Vittoria, my Italian Grandma, had a big heart; a continuos cartography of births, deaths, dances, costumes, old wars and secrets that she displayed only for me as we navigated life from the deck of her dreams.
I have a big heart too.
I was always the child that helped others, that took care of the sick children and the ones in disadvantage, the one that looked for the smaller, the different, the voiceless.
My heart is open.
It carries the pain of the world. Like Mother Theresa I have seen myself accompanying the death and the sick. Like Amma, I have seen myself giving the embrace that can heal the suffering on the Earth. I have seen myself standing in the dying forest, living on the last tree that is about to be cut.
My heart is big.
When I was a little girl, I once had an idea as I heard people talking on the streets. What if I made a whole story of the bits and pieces that I heard everywhere in my heart? I had the dream of writing and putting them all together in a book. I believe that was the realization of what my soul had already come to do here. I started intuitively collecting stories, and listening conscientiously. I started recording my grandparents and greataunts, asking about their lives, collecting memories, sounds, recipes, tricks for planting trees and taking care of the crops. My heart already knew that I could carry those stories. I gathered them as precious jewels and put them in a locket inside of me.
My heart is open.
It carries the pain of a scattered family. My heart was open when It held the despair of a reckless father, the addiction that led to a broken family, a breaking that lead to a mother that went to pieces when she discovered she couldn’t find the one that was once herself.
My heart is hungry.
It can listen to stories, It can listen to people’s pain, It can digest it, It can absorb it, It can become them, It can vessel them, It can devour.
My heart keeps opening, when a woman that I just met 3 weeks ago says: ‘You know, only with you I can have this. You got more out of me than anyone else in my life’. A woman that has never told her story, a woman that would have remained unheard, un-held, unseen.
I want my heart to be infinite
There’s no separation between me and you, the other and I. There are no sides in this, my heart is an infinite container for me and the world. My heart is not different from a dog’s heart, a cow’s heart, a salmon’s, an elephant’s, a hummingbird’s, a lioness’s. In my heart I can see no difference. In my heart we are all one.
Belfast, March 27th, 2014