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Healing the heart of the past

The legacy of the heart…

Two Owls Calling

Many ancient impressions live on in the genes we inherited from our parents and ancestors. These, too, need to be made conscious, lest they manifest as disease or as seemingly inexplicable urges to behave in certain ways or to pursue certain ideas.
(The Path of Practice: A Woman’s Book of Healing with Food, Breath, and Sound;
Maya Tiwari)

My Aunt Trish, in her twenties, just after her mother died of heart disease. My Aunt Trish, in her twenties, just after her mother died of heart disease.

50 is a plateau from which I survey my past and future, following which I enter my “fifties”–the decade (or shortly thereafter) that took a chunk of my relatives–including my mother, her parents, her brother, and just this past week: one of her baby sisters.

Given the overlapping of generations common to large Irish Catholic families, my Aunt Trish and I were teenagers together. When I was in Junior High, we traveled to Disney World and…

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let your heart be light…

My heart takes me from this bed, in this home, filled with family, into the future–alone, an old woman, in a wheel chair, celebrating Christmas without gifts, or a tree, or a meal to prepare, or obligations to fulfill…

Kelly & Lila

Mary & the Angel Gabriel, from Julie Vivas, the Nativity Heart to Heart, Mary & the Angel Gabriel, The Nativity, Julie Vivas

I wake in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve day, too early to get up, but too late to fall back to sleep because my heart has something to say.

It is ready to release the heaviness it carries at Christmas.

Christmas Past…

My heart shares the weight of all those years shuffling between houses after the divorce. The heaviness of leaving a parent behind. The longing to fill the void between those whose love once created life.

It talks to me about my mother’s drinking, her loneliness, her pain, her efforts. How it carried that weight too.

It shows me my first Christmas apart. In the Rockies. The emptiness. The space. The breath.

It moves to my first Christmas in my own apartment. The joy. The simplicity. The light.

Christmas Future…

My heart takes…

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Happy Christmas Grieving Day!

Next year:
Happy Christmas Eve eve.
What grieves you?

Kelly & Lila

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I wake heavy and slow. I pull on a long skirt and grab the men’s flannel shirt that I picked up at the second hand store.

I check the fire. I light candles. I put on Christmas music. I consider my to do list. (The one I had been eager to address.)

I fill a bowl of kitchari. I sit on the couch. I open the computer. I read.

I realize I’m sad.

I google: Christmas Date with Mom; and then add: Kelly Salasin.

I find my post from 2009. I critique my writing. I begin editing. Line by line tears fill my eyes. I close the computer. I finish chewing. I sob.

I worry someone might hear me. I hold my heart. I say, Ow, ow, ow.

I read more of my Christmas writing from years past. I feel soothed. And tired. I realize that I always write in…

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