Patience, compassion, kindness, honesty, honor, courage trust, loyalty, strength. We teach best that which we most often need to learn ourselves. What do you ask me for? What do you give to me? Bare yourelf to me, your fears, dreams, perversions, desires, what your passions are, what makes you smile. Who hurt you, and how did they make your heart cold and heavy? How many bricks did they add to the wall around you? And time. How much time passed before you realized that the tower you erected not only keeps out the ones who chipped your china heart, but locks you away inside that glass prison? Have you realized it yet? Did you run to your kismet only to find yourself knocked out cold on the floor, having slammed into what seemed to be an invisible shield?

My heart grows cold and small in my shivering hands as I look at you through the glass. My features are distorted through the appearance of the age warped silicon barrier between us. Or is it really the glass distorting your view? Perhaps what you mistake for illusion is the stark look of fear and need on my face as I send silent pleas to you, as I hold out my heart to you. Saying to you, "Here is my heart; I know it is not much to look at, bruised and unevenly stitched as it is. But I offer it to you, with the promise of all it is still capable of. Will you accept it? Would you cradle it, and treat it gently, sharing some small piece of yours to feed it, so it may heal? or would you treat it indifferently, setting it aside in a corner to collect and choke on dust?"

As you gaze upon the terrified face mirroring your own indecision and pain, you instinctively reach for my shivering, cold heart, but you are stopped by that invisible wall. The very thing you created to be sanctuary has now become your prison. For while you are there, you may not be who you truly want and know you need to be. I stand there, looking at you, the question in my eyes burning into your brain...are you strong enough to destroy your own creation? To find a way to release yourself, to free your own spirit, so that you can then accept the treasure of me that I offer to you?

The chance I take is with my own life, as I lay down on the dry brittle grass of Autumn, my heart, outside the wall of your clear prison, and take a last look, as if to say, "I love you, it is yours to do with what you will," and quietly walk away. It is said that courage is not freedom from fear, but being afraid and still doing what you know to be right. Have you fear? Yes or you would not have locked yourself away. Have you the courage to overcome that fear? I do not know. Only you can answer that. I can only hope.

The true test is in our abilities and our faith to be able to lay ourselves open, to pain yes, but to love also. For we, none of us, can shut out pain without also denying love. To open up, and reveal ourselves wide to life itself, love, and yes to hurt also, takes hope.

I remain hopeful that one day my love will be accepted by that one who can overcome his wariness and reticence and decide that it is finally time to live again, and to begin to trust once more. And to take that chance with me, to see the world beyond the glass together. Will you break free of your towered heart? To find me, some distance away, sleeping for I have not the heart to stay conscious. Have you the heart to wake me? To tell me then, "You are not able to live without a heart, not truly. You left yours with me and I find in truth I cannot return it to you. What I can give you is mine, do with it what you will."

And you look at me with silent questions, "Will you take my heart? Will you cradle it and treat it gently? And treasure it, cherish, and nurture it, and not discard it to a corner to choke on dust and indifference? I know it is not much to look at, but I leave it with you. I hope..."

You hope!!! I smile and take your hand...

November 1996


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