Always wanting

 

As already said earlier in Advent, this time of year is good for noticing the restlessness of the human heart and the different ways it seeks to satisfy itself. Like other energies, desire passes through the mind-body, frequently in short bursts and is not permanent. Desire is to be understood and we come to see that we can let go of it.

But most hearts say, I want, I want,
I want, I want. My heart
is more duplicitous,
though no twin as I once thought.
It says, I want, I don’t want, I
want, and then a pause.
It forces me to listen,

and at night it is the infra-red
third eye that remains open
while the other two are sleeping
but refuses to say what it has seen.

It is a constant pestering
in my ears, a caught moth, limping drum,
a child’s fist beating
itself against the bedsprings:
I want, I don’t want.
How can one live with such a heart?

Long ago I gave up singing
to it, it will never be satisfied or lulled.
One night I will say to it:
Heart, be still,
and it will.

Margaret Atwood, The Woman Who Could Not Live With Her Faulty Heart

 

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