Friday, April 15, 2011

a heart that's too small

newspaper, newspaper. can't take no more. you're here, every morning, waiting at my door. and i'm just trying to kiss you and you stab my eyes. make me blue forever like an island sky.
-conor oberst, milk thistle

my co-worker shares his rolling stone magazines with me. once a month, i come into the office to find an issue waiting on my desk, usually heralding the latest pop culture phenomenon, or new summer album release. two days ago, he shared something different. his newsweek.

and between a feature of rhianna and a never-before-seen interview from liz taylor, there was an article on the war. one single glance and i was done with for the day. because my heart can't take it.

i am ruled by conscience. and purity. when i was younger, and a bad thought would sneak its way into my mind, i would write it down on construction paper and slip it under my mama's bedroom door. sometimes i would be dramatic and circle the place where my tears hit the paper, with an arrow and the words "here is where i cried." because through the act of writing it down, of getting it out on paper, i was subsequently releasing it from my spirit. and until i told someone, i felt awful. guilty. maybe that's why i blog now. to share with you my happiness, yes, but also my demons. my struggles. 

and i internalize things. like the news. like magazine features with awful images unfit to print. and they stay with me and embed themselves so deep into me that i can't distinguish myself from the muddle.

and i'm not naive. i'm not so blissfully happy or innocent that i don't know the terror that's going on overseas. or here in our home country. or one city away from me. some people have big hearts. they give and give and are so beautiful. but sometimes mine feels too small. it's not that i don't care, i just care so fervently that i render myself immobile. and thus ineffective.

so i tucked the newsweek in my office drawer. chiefly because rhianna is splattered on the cover wearing something between underwear and shorts, and i did not think that proper workplace fodder. but also because i know what's inside those pages. and if i ever, ever doubt my ability to feel (as i sometimes do. when the world gets mundane and slow and routine, i become a bit numb), those images will snap me back.

back to a world that is scary. overwhelmingly so. but also fluid. and for every terror there is a beauty. and it's easy to hide away. to squirrel myself in my room. my car. my office. but there's a God pouring sunlight  through my windows right now, glaring up my screen and reflecting off my arms. and He instructs me to push forward through the murk. because He has a handle on situations that i can't touch. and that's good news.

14 comments:

Ana* said...

& this post describes the main reason why I don't watch the news. I am conscious of what's going on around us but sometimes I just feel helpless about everything that's going on. I want to help but I don't know how. I just avoid it, as usual... only until I find a way to deal with it.

Kristina said...

Not wanting to see the bad and the hurt of the world doesn't mean you have a small heart. "Big hearted" people don't like seeing any of that stuff. I think sometimes we are all made to be able to deal with different levels of bad within ourselves. It doesn't ever make one heart better than another. You my dear, I know you have a big heart - I see it every day you right. Plus, we all have about the same size of heart it's all about how God fills it. :)

charla beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
charla beth said...

"He has a handle on situations i can't touch." that is the BEST news. :)

this is so, so beautiful.

M. said...

God is so, so big. His sovreignty [and the promise to be with me even until the end of the age] is what keeps me. But I'm like you- that immobile feeling isn't foreign to me. Our weakness and inability is very real- but his power is made perfect in weakness.

Thanks for this post.

Amber Blue Bird said...

the news is hard to take sometimes so I know how you feel. I am always aware of the things going on in the world be it war or natural disasters but I cant dwell on it or I would be a miserable person. I think you have the right idea here, there are some things we just cant control

morgan. said...

oh, i am glad to have found yours as well.

Hilda said...

Great post. Where is the line between being sentient human beings and voyeurs of pain and terror?

b. lee said...

you speaking of your emotions as a child & sliding notes under your mother's door, circling your tear drops ... oh my * so reminds me of my eldest lady ...

the suffering in the world is overwhelming ... I have the same battles within my heart * *

Connie said...

Beautifully written! I can't watch the news because it makes me sad!

katyl said...

i love the way you write :) i also love when you comment on my posts, you are so insightful. thank you so much!

Signe said...

I wish it was not so but sometimes I just get numb to what the news have to offer. Like with the earthquakes in Japan. At first I was just blown away and left speachless and tearing up by the images flickering over the screen or newspaper covers. Then after two weeks it's like I could not see it anymore, or I saw it but I'd gone numb to it. And I thought 'this is just as bad as what I saw two weeks ago, so why does it not affect me that badly anymore?'

I think the media just might bring us too much news. Or the spin that they put on it is just not healthy, it's too much and sometimes it makes me feel like we are wallowing in other peoples misery. Or something like that, kinda hard to explain.

Anyway, once again you got me thinking :)

Happy weekend!

Oh, and I loved that Rpbert got you tickets to Sara Bareilles! What a sweetheart :)

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

so interesting, i bet that is why you blog now. really cool Courtney, i love the fact that you would write little notes down about where you'd cried. gave me goosebumps, how cleansing for a soul...it's true!

so many hardships are being faced at any one given moment worldwide, grasping it is impossible but being aware in certain moments and sending prayers is do-able. ♥

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

I know exactly what you mean. I can't watch the news, or read sad newspaper articles because it makes me feel so helpless. And angry that there is so much bad in the world.
I love how positive the last sentence was, it really made me think.

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