Friday, March 5, 2010

Have You Thrown Your Heart Lately?

Flash 55

This is a Friday Flash 55 in honor of a loved one's birthday today. Gone but not forgotten. If you want to tell a story in exactly 55 words, post it and go tell the G-Man.

Grief Stricken

Her eyes
looking at you
were tender
The light
in her smile
lit fires in you
Her hair
shone golden
in the sunshine
The lightness
of her touch
moved your soul
Her presence
with life
The lightness
you always
Her light
has died
now forever
How will you
ever breathe

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

Norman Vincent Peale

One night when I was 18 years old and tired of living in a small desert town, tired of hanging out with my druggie friends, I lay in my dark bedroom wondering what in the hell could I do?

What happened next, I can only describe as a vision that bloomed in my mind like a flower: I could go to college!

No one in my extended family had ever gone to college. At this idea of me in college, my heart smiled.

The next day I started writing letters, asking for information. I talked to my parents. They talked to each other. They hit me with an offer. If I earned half the cost, they would pay the other half.

I threw my heart over that fence. It took me almost a year to save the money from my florist-shop job. I decided on a university and got accepted.

All the rest followed. I studied my love, English. Graduated summa cum laude. Went to L.A. and enjoyed a 20-year career in magazine editing and writing. Made a rewarding life for myself…all because I put myself whole-heartedly behind a vision.

In the same way, I threw myself into Alcoholics Anonymous 20 years ago. I’ve stumbled, got up, and thrown my heart into it again. The vision of life as a sober person gets 100 percent of my commitment.

I’ve done the same thing with my marriage to Joe. For 18 years we’ve both put our hearts into this thing. We’ve learned forgiveness, acceptance, laughter, anger without mean words, and compromise.

When I read Norman Peale’s quote, those are the things I think about and feel grateful for. I think when we throw our hearts over the fence of a good cause, the rest follows. There’s a qualifier here: The cause has to be for our good, not for selfish, screwed-up motives. I’ve tried that way, and it led to unhappiness. But when the fence is good, when our commitment is full of our best efforts, when God smiles on us…the rest follows.

For what have you thrown your heart over the fence?



Kim A. said...

Wow! It's days like this that i wish I could here your story in a speaker meeting :-D It took me 25 years to finally figure out that finishing college is better than quitting. I have two semesters to go for my B.S. I also love Norman Vincent Peale. What a wonderful post to read on the last day of my mid-terms.


Brian Miller said...

for my wife and family, i would say i did it for my previous job as well...

hope you have a great weekend!

Susan said...

I like your warning in the end, that we should only throw our heart over for the good. Fantastic reminder as always!

Monkey Man said...

My wife and my family. Great post. I love how the idea bloomed followed by you working for a florist. Nice touch.

Collette said...

Beautiful post! I know that as long as we do the best we can, God will be there to give us the strength to keep going. (((HUGS)))

Secretia said...

I threw my heart over the fence and decided to help people more than use them.


Magpie said...

I love your prompts...all very positive and uplifting ways to begin the day.

I'm not sure I qualify for the disclaimer part. I threw my heart over the fence of making the commitment to care for my mother...and the rest of me and my family followed. I say this because there have been times in our lives when Mom and I didn't quite get along. We have a strained relationship a lot of the time, but I'm the only daughter and I promised her long ago that I would keep her from nursing homes if at all possible. So we do our dance from day to day trying to grow and learn and move on. But I am glad we're in this together and I have the love and support of my family.

RE: Pink Press - in our little hometown, once a year they print the Pink Press (on pink paper). It has letters from town residents still there or who have moved away catching everyone up on their lives and happenings. Great small town stuff. Mom still gets the little local paper in the mail. It's quite the thing.

Syd said...

I've thrown my heart over the fence for my loved ones, my recovery, my career. I suspect that will continue throughout my life.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

For love but that hasn't worked out so well for me...who knows...
maybe I'll throw my heart over the fence for me.

Great post as make me think, dream and like being alive.

Georgina said...

For my Dad. We got through some tough times. If I had given up on him, I wouldn't be who I am today. Dad was a friend of Bill W's and I am a grateful daughter because of it. I really enjoy your blog and they way you share you experiences. Peace. - G

TechnoBabe said...

Your 55 is lovely. I can picture a woman with inner beauty. Someone that dear is never totally gone.
I like the story about your working to earn your half of the cost of college. It took me a long time to be strong enough to throw my heart over the fence.

Titanium said...

Chris, the poem is heart-holdingly beautiful.

The day I gave birth to my daughter, I threw my heart over the fence and directly into the path of a lawn mower. And I would do it again, to know the laughter of my golden-haired child, to see her smile, to hear her voice. In the end, a heart only beats on because the Love is bigger than the hurt.

Nessa said...

Beautiful poem. i am sorry for your loss.

I am throwing my heart this year. I hope the fence is a good one. i just love this analogy.

Flash 55 - Earthquake

One Single Impression - Running

Brian Miller said...

nice 55 as well...lots of light words in there...gone but not forgotten, happens when you are the light in other lives...nice 55.

Julie said...

What a beautiful, poignant poem. It is heartbreaking to lose a loved one. But I love her light and these lines:

"Her presence
with life
The lightness
you always"

I'm sorry for your loss. This is a wonderful portrait for your loved one, though. Some people come along who just sparkle with light and life, and they add so much to our lives. We grieve for them when they are gone, but we are blessed to have had their light for a short time. It reminds me of a dear friend of mine. I miss her so much.

I like your metaphor of flinging a heart over the fence. Like you, I've done it in bad ways and good ways. My daughter and husband are the most positive results of my "good" flinging.

Thanks for another thoughtful post.

Steve E said...

Persistence pays!

And I LIKE "qualifiers". I can perform a real act of mercy under the darkest cloak of wrong motive, and find a street which goes no place...except maybe to a bed under a bridge holding a pint of wine.

Matty said...

That's a nice 55 tribute to that special person.

I applaud you for making a decision and pursuing it. Your tenacity and hard work paid off.

My heart, and the rest of me, went over the fence each time my children were born.

e said...

A beautiful post and an interesting question that I must think about before answering...

Lovely poem!

Felicitas said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend in this 55. Simply beautiful.

I so agree with you about commiting with your whole heart. I have done so many times for my family and friends.

Madison said...

Great post. The power of finishing what you started - even when it doesn't seem like it makes sense half way to the finish line.

G-Man said...

This whole post was was beautiful.
Thank You so much for outpouring of your heart!
Excellent 55 as well.
Thank you also for being such a great supporter of other contributors...You Rock!
Have a Kick Ass Week-End...G

Prayer Girl said...

The light may die, but not the soul. In our next life we will be with our mothers again in the radiant glow of their love.


Marla said...

You always make me think....

...for my husband, my children, God and strangers. But only because He asked me to...

I would have been too afraid, otherwise.

Susan said...

I shared this piece at work. The message was too good to be lost. I still love it. Perhaps even more the second time I'm reading it!


PattiKen said...

Your 55 is just beautiful. Sometimes the fence is there because throwing your heart over it is the only way to know you are really committed.

My post is up here.

Albert Einstein Quotes