A Measured Heart

by tobias crabtree

I often think about heartbeats, more so than moments. It’s the heartbeats that matter to me. How do I use them? How do I waste them? How many of ’em do I give away to silly, little worries that only matter to me.  I know I write a good bit about hearts, maybe too much, but I’m intrigued by this thing in my chest. So far, it has never once failed me. I have not always treated it well, at times, I’ve been downright cruel to the ol’ engine of my life.

Last night I stood in front of some people, I think about 200, and I talked about stuff. It was important stuff to me, so I actually cared about how it was received. And before I spoke, you know that little period of time before it’s the Time, I sat with my heart. I had a little chat and I told my heart that there was no need to speed up and miss these little clips of life. Now, my heart, it doesn’t always listen. Sometimes, if a pretty girl’s involved, my heart will ratchet up and go running off without me. Or if I’m angry, yeah, if I’m angry I have trouble getting my heart to listen. But I’ve been working on understanding it, you know, my heart. Last night it listened to me. I carried my heart up in front of people and I said simple things that I thought were good. As I looked out into the lights and saw the silhouetted people, no faces, just shapes, my heart kept pace. And I saw the little things that you might not see if you’re too wrapped up in what you are or how you look. I’m pretty sure it’s because my heart kept that sweet and steady flow of blood that carries stuff from the gut to the brain. It’s my gut that holds the passion and the love and the fight. My brain holds the caution and the reason and the ego. And the heart, old Faithful, is the messenger between the two.  Without the heart, all is lost and there ain’t a bit of connection. Even cooler to me is that all the communication relies on the blood and how it flows to and fro from end to end. It’s like a little world inside me.

Rivers. Clouds. Skies. Thunder. Dirt. It’s all there on the inside.

When I was finished saying things that I said, I had a pretty older lady stop me at the door. She was probably my mom’s age and I could tell she wanted to hug me. I hugged her and she told me that my story reminded her of a time when she was a kid and knew an old man that walked across the desert. She had tears in her eyes and what she said to me was sweet and wonderful. See what i mean? Hearts. They can be so good to us.

This morning, the sun is out in the desert. It’s been raining for a few days, so i bet the flowers will follow. I think I’m gonna take my heart out there and let it pound — heartbeats well spent.