The Willow & War Blog

The Heart

The heart.

The muscle. The one with its own synapses and neurons. The fickle and furious center of life. The answer back to the why of the world. Why?

Because of the magnetic pulse that nearly rips my chest open whenever my children get on the bus.

Because life is very real and whole but we let it drift by, moaning that it’s boring, or challenging, or uninspiring, or scary. So we sip on the stupidity of sitcoms and binge pixels, our souls craving something more, entire bodies scratching at small screens for more nearness, more meaning, more warmth, and rather than leaning into life, we escape it. We disassociate and divide our minds and attention and pass it on.

Good lord. The inheritance was never supposed to be debt and stress and evasion - it is supposed to be revelation and the promise that life isn’t out there. It's not through some digital funnel or glitchy obscene cosmos, its here. Life is.

It's you. It’s us.

It's my sons putting their arms around one another and giggling with their eyes closed. It's my wife burying her head in my shoulder while I inhale the end of another long day. It's the leather and braided red lacing of a baseball popping in the basket of my boy’s glove.

It's the sound of people marching, singing, writing, building, and dreaming about home and heart, whether they know it or not.

Its gospel choirs and rock concerts singing for god or to god or god knows what. Its conscientious politicians. It’s gritty mechanics who know a thing or two about hard work; who wipe their oily hands on an old t-shirt before flipping the light off in the bay. Its coaches and teachers who lift and build and sweat and fortify hearts; keep going kid, keep going, you’ve got this, you're almost there.

It's the sting of briny tears cascading down the cheeks of mothers and fathers who buried their own children but refuse to bury their souls, who hurl their might and commandments to an open sky and an open world, who demand something more than caskets and craven prayers. Something beyond the crippled world we've presented to ourselves. Something more than faith in someday. Something more than running away.

It's the fucking blood that dispatches life through your entire being and that fist-sized muscle that keep it all going.

So next time you ask why? just remember.

Because this is real. This is real.

You are real.

We are real.

are the why.