"A heart can be broken, but it will keep beating just the same."

by Amy Turn Sharp


I hung out with some pals Friday night. It was one of those nights that heavy talk was hanging in the air like fog because our friend is going through a divorce and you know she just needed to talk. She needs it and her heart requires it and we were there and it was good. Women are magic when it comes to communication. Magic and sparkle and light. I know she is going to be OK. I know it. She is beautiful and smart. She has that resilience that some do not have inherently and must grow like a reptile skin over years- she has it now, so she is lucky.
But no matter it is sad. I know next year this time will be different and her light will shine even more and she will glow again, but I am deep for her. And of course the talk got more interesting as the wine came and all I could focus on is the moment two people fall out of love. And does it happen in small steps over time or in one big night full of fighting and broken dishes. Is it the same for everyone at a base level? Is there is a switch in our hearts that hang from a very long cord and we just pull it like a madman one day? We just pull it and change our lives?

It freaks me out, kinda like the obsession I had as a child of listening to my grandfather tell me about heaven. My grandfather, the Baptist minister, instilled most of the scary thoughts in my head surrounding the afterlife. If I don't think of fiery pits of hell and burning flesh with the demons I think of the way he would tell me stories about heaven.
Heaven was described in all of the typical hurrah fashion, but then at some point they must have told me that it went on forever. And at a young age I think forever was burnt into my brain as me walking on these dirt roads and it just went on and on and I was all alone and no one was ever there with me and forever meant I was not alive anymore and I was dead.
Even today if I think about those images and the monotony of walking on and on and it is forever and that whole thing makes me feel ill.
Just like thinking about love and the way it can so easily, with such confusion fall apart.
God it scares me.
I set fire to my cord last night.
The one hanging from my heart.
I set fire to it and blew the ashes across the floor and they spelled out lucky.

title post- Fried Green Tomatoes 1991