Lately, the poem I Carry Your Heart with Me by E. E. Cummings is bouncing around in my head. It’s a love poem, but I have been thinking about how we carry peoples hearts in other ways and they carry ours. Not romantically, but we carry the hearts of others - family members & friends. Colleagues who become friends.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
Maybe we walk around carrying those hearts. Sometimes, people know we are carrying their heart in our hearts. Other times, they don’t. We have to show them. Tell them. Sometimes we do. Other times, we get busy. We forget. Or maybe it’s weird to tell people that - we should tell them.
i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
Often, we’re careless with peoples hearts. Many times - we don’t mean it. Time passes. We forget what we did to fuck up the situation to begin with. Or what the other person did to fuck it up. Opportunities arise to apologize or to accept an apology. We don’t apologize. We don’t accept. We have time. What was it that happened again? Who was it fault? Oh right. That. Was it a big deal? I’ve done this before. There comes a time it’s too late and regret closes in.
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
In addition to carrying someone’s heart within our own, we carry their stories. Stories they trust us with. Sometimes, the stories are heavy and carried best with a small group of comrades who are also carrying the other person’s heart and their story. Those people. Tell those people you love them. You do love them and maybe it’s weird to say it but you don’t have time to not say it. You know this now.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I’m carrying a heart and all that comes with that - the memories, the stories, the shared history. If we’re lucky, we carry many hearts within our own. Many stories. The threads tangle and knot. When we pay attention to these hearts, we remember what’s important (spoiler alert - it isn’t work, although that’s what we’re led to believe). Carrying hearts isn’t easy - it almost guarantees that our own heart will break. But hearts are strong - they can carry a lot. And, if we’re lucky, they will carry a lot.
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)