Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Where the tears fell

My heart is not on my sleeve, it is in my eyes. I have the opposite of poker face, I cannot hide. And so yesterday, the tears fell at will; I let them fall.

At 1:15 I was still in my pyjamas, I hadn't done yoga and was staring at the sky. I shook myself and instinctively called Le Violette; Corinne answered. When she asked, "Ça va?" I replied, "No, I am tired and sad. I know it is late but can I come for lunch?" "Of course. We will wait for you." I can get ready very quickly these days, shower to makeup and dressed in ten minutes. I felt trembly in my hurried steps out the door, little under a big blue ahead.

I jokingly call Alex "my fiancée." It is a running gag that we share. Half-Sicilian, half-French, he wants to work in the States. I want to be sure that I can remain here. So we have decided that a wedding would solve our problems, this despite his being 25 (making me definitely old enough to be his mother). He is a ferocious flirt. When I walked into the restaurant, his face narrowed, "What is it? Love?" No, I shook my head. "I hate to see you like this," (it is rare that he is this serious) "I will punch whoever did this to you. Do you want me to do that?" I shook my head again but with a smile, my lips pursed tightly to hold back the tears.

They spilled over when Corinne gave me the bises and we agreed that this eclipse was shaking us from the inside out. Nicholas, her usually stoic husband, admitted that he wanted to throw a chair he was so full of unlikely emotions. When Alex delivered my plat du jour, I didn't care about being the crazy American crying over tandoori chicken. The room was full of regulars, as I am too. They had to come out, those crystal little drops and so they did.

It was the same later in the day, the record on repeat, when I took myself to the salon for a blowout, a once a month treat. Sabrina retracted from her smiling hello quickly. "Oh, vous avez un petit mine." It is slang. To have a sad expression. The opposite of having "un bon mine." "I can't talk or I will cry. I just came here..." "...pour changer les idées?" She finished my trailing sentence. Again, all I could do was nod but still the tears fell. All through the shampoo and often through closed eyes as I sat in her chair. She did a wonderful job. She always does. She doesn't mind if I don't talk. I tip.

Even though it is now the day of the eclipse, they are gone now, the tears, having run their course. I feel more solid and will do that yoga that was ignored in a bit. Root to rise, as they say. And the why of them? There was a reason. Some not so kind things had been said and it opened up that gaping yawn of questioning about the future and what am I doing? And where will I go? Yet again, it wasn't linear and it never ceases to surprise me what buttons can push others, hidden.

I am trying so hard to harbor trust that all will work out for the best. And to not knee-jerk look outwards for approval but within. I keep running up against the challenge of patience, as I want change to happen now. But I have to participate, to do the work on my end, both practical and dreaming in order to arrive. And all of this in my manner for there is none others that matter, no standards to be heeded. I forget that. Sitting in the sun at a café post lunch yesterday, I scribbled in my journal about a gesture that I had offered: "It came from the heart. I come from the heart...I come from the heart."

 *These photos are from a singular extraordinary door in the Marais. I could have stayed longer in the looking. May whatever doors feel closed in front of you open willingly under the bright light of this Blue Moon...

Thank you for being here,


  1. Oh Heather! Life can be too much at times. Tears fall and that's OK. Smiles will come out again, too, and be all the sweeter.
    And wherever the not-so-kind remarks came from, I join Alex in offering to donner une baffe à ce connard. I am inept enough that your offender probably would just laugh, but would know that there are legions ready to stand up for you.
    That door in the photos is eloquent in its pain.

  2. Heather,

    I am sorry that you are having a hard time. They say tears are good for us and I think it is true, as a great friends that seem in abundance for you. I am happy that you have friends there who feed you, champion you and are just there for you.

    Take care of yourself, xo Elizabeth

  3. Tears are natures way of relieving stress...let them flow.
    Your images are beautiful....when I went to France I was besotted with the doors...all manner of colours, shapes, and intricate details...a coffee table book on French doors might be a fun project!
    Hope you are feeling a renewal of spirit...

    1. Ah, it has already been done! But thank you. I will keep working....

  4. Unkind comments, why do they stick when the kind ones sometimes do not? And perhaps the blue moon, which was hidden behind clouds here in Portland, is to blame for my overreaction to an imagined slight this morning. But, mostly, this post reminds me of a June when I was in my early twenties. I was suddenly bereft, with no immediate explanation. I couldn't figure it out, but finally, I realized that I was in the midst of the month when my mother had died several years before. And even though it has been over 40 years since I lost my best friend, when the sun is shining and the air is warm and my mind is in other places, my heart never fails to remember that deep, ingrained feeling of loss. We need to embrace those feelings along with the happy ones in order to be who we truly are.

    1. My beautiful friend. How dearly I love you.And how sorry I am, always, for the loss of your mom. How proud of you she must be.

  5. Sending warm thoughts....yes blame in on the full moon!!

  6. Heather, Thank you for sharing your feelings. That release, not only gives you relief - it helps all of us; who have felt the same. We all are sending you thoughts of feeling better. We are never alone in this.

  7. Tears are healing, let them flow.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  8. So much beauty in sadness... more even perhaps than happiness? I have often wondered about that. Your words are a soothing balm... a gift. Don’t forget that x

  9. ¨The cure for anything is always salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.¨ Isak Dinesen

    You´ll get through this. Besos

  10. It is an extraordinary door, full of character. Endurance builds character. Do that yoga, read some Pema Chodron: 'You are the sky. Everything else, it's just the weather.' And a bit of 'Ego seeks to divide and separate. Spirit seeks to unify and heal.'
    Not ruling out a good punch though. A good punch can clear a lot. xx

  11. Dear Heather,

    After all these years (can it really have become “years”? I suppose so…) of knowing you and your writings, I’m still regularly struck by (and grateful for) your honesty and candor.

    Fortunately, you’re surrounded by family, friends, & readers (and, it seems, even a surprisingly simpatico hairdresser) who respond to you and your work just as I do.

    For now, and having read your post for a second time, here’s a poem by Robert Frost which I immediately thought of, upon finishing this most recent posting of yours:

    “The Silken Tent”

    “She is as in a field a silken tent
    At midday when a summer breeze
    Had dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
    So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
    And its supporting central cedar pole,
    That is its pinnacle to heavenward
    And signifies the sureness of the soul,
    Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
    But strictly held by none is loosely bound
    By countless silken ties of love and thought
    To everything on earth, the compass round,
    And only by one’s going slightly taught
    In the capriciousness of summer air
    Is of the slightest bondage made aware.”

    I know, Heather…..that’s one VERY long sentence, but I hope you’ll have the time and patience to read it several times. For various reasons (and to be honest), I think it could have been written about you.

    All of the very best and kindest wishes to you….and, as ever, I wish you were able to visit and sit here at the kitchen table. If nothing else, you could express the inevitable awe and wonderment at my new (and rather incomprehensible) laptop…….the first new computer I’ve had in 13 years (hard to believe, but true).


    David terry

  12. Come visit me in Texas, you will smile, laugh, fly and sail through every single day. Meet some new people, see Houston, which is really quite beautiful in areas, and go to the most wonderful little cafes and restaurants. Sending love, Heather. And, you know I mean this invitation sincerely.

  13. Thank you, Marsha....I've followed your comments for years now. You're a kind person.....and, I think, just the sort of friend Heather needs right now.

    David Terry

  14. Winter will pass. Dark snow, that too will pass.
    The sun shines even in winter.
    Keep strong. Smile.

  15. Courage, Heather, you will be fine, I just know it and believe it.

    The beauty you captured in your photo’s and in your story show incredible strength. As long as you can see this kind of beauty you will be allright.

    Thank you for sharing your writing and pictures,
    from a fellow sensitive soul,


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