Here We Go Again With the Wooden Heart

I come back to this piece by the Listener a couple of times a year. This time it's fresh, and I'm going to own it. For those of you who've heard me extol the virtues of this artist (time and time and time again), bear with me. Perhaps it's the day for you to own it, too.


I've been haunted by standard red devils and white ghosts.

Haven't we all? The process of self-knowledge creeps like a life. Sometimes success births self-knowledge, but for some--the more thick-headed, loose-skinned ones--self-knowledge is found in the  recognition that everything falls apart. Even us.

Everything falls apart at the exact same time it comes together perfectly for the next step.

There's only the next step, really--the next forward step, that is. If we're honest, we work the next western foot forward. If we're kind, we pass that wisdom down to the next group of fall-apart people. If we're lucky, they'll work it out too, they'll join us in the infinite loop.

If we hold on tight, we'll hold each other together and not just be some fools rushing to die in our sleep.

It's some summing of the white-knuckled posture of prayer and the kind words of friends that by-God steels hollow legs; that re-hinges the doors of the soul; that by-God rushes us, rushes us, rushes us to somewhere other than sleeping. To life? To moving? To hymns? I don't know where these things rush, but by-God it's a clean high.

All these machines will rust, I promise you, but we'll still be electric, shocking each other back to life. Your hand in mine, my fingers in your veins connected our bones grown together in time. 

This is how a life is moved: from birth to cracking; from cracking to breaking; from breaking to floor; from floor to who knows where? The line between the refuse pile and the mending is fine. It's found in the courage of friends who've been once broken, twice born.

Cause I know that our church is made of shipwrecks from every hull these rocks have claimed.*

*All bold and italicized lines from the Listener's "Wooden Heart."