my heart, my home, my beastiary

Posted by on March 2, 2010

I think I have grown grumpy lately for a combination of reasons. One is that winter has long outworn its welcome. I think there are at least twenty posts in this blog’s archives devoted to South Bend winters. They [the posts] are boring. I think I just need a t-shirt that says: “South Bend winters: where fun goes to die.”

There is also the fact that my husband’s comprehensive exams are only two weeks away, making life feel as if our family has strapped on ankle and wrist weights, just to give our household’s daily workout the benefit of increased resistence. And maybe I am feeling some social isolation since the start of Lent.

This brings me to the topic of Lent. I think I made a classic, even cliche error this time around: increased fasting without increased prayer. I stood in the front yard of my heart and yelled over the fence: “See you later, world.” But then when I peeked inside the front door of my heart I found a sink full of dishes, a pile of old mail. Somewhere in the dark, drafty rafters I could just make out the outline of a surly dragon. This left me somewhat trapped in the cold yard area, between the world and my heart, growing resentful of both, and finally inclined to throw rotten tomatoes, first at the world, then at the door of my own uninhabitable, ramshackle heart. I cannot recommend this predicament. I am going to have to learn to pray and repent, or else forfeit one or the other, or both.

My three year-old and I made Valentine’s Day cards for a party at her preschool. The one above was the very first one she drew, simply filling in all the white space on the card with red and pink. In the process of filling the card with color at random, a jagged, ragged heart shape was accidentally laid down on the paper. So I saved this remarkable, accidental valentine. And I think there is something realistic about a lopsided heart, lacking clean lines.

  1. Nostalgia
    March 4, 2010

    Julia, I think you are so right about this card! Some artist would spend years trying to come up with a card like that, while a child… I've heard that Picasso later in his life "tried to un-learn how to paint, so he can paint like a child again". This always felt like an exaggeration. But when I saw this Valentine's Card – that quote came to my mind immediately.