Heart Killing

At the end of yet another productive day filled with back-to-back appointments and errands, a day during which many of the tasks on that rotating to-do list were acknowledged and re-prioritized, I laid my body to rest and found that it could not.

I lay awake, calculating so intensely the next day’s efficiency, that I did not hear the advance and retreat of waves on the dark sand below my window.

I got up to look; to assure myself.

It was during that movement among the shadows of my home that a long-forgotten moment surfaced among those other thoughts.  It was the discovery, years ago, when I most needed it, of a Chinese translation for the word ”busy” – rendered through two characters representing “heart” and “killing”.

Averse to sloth, back then I had prided myself on making the best possible use of my time; staying busy.  As a result, I had stopped feeling the dance of life’s waves on the shores of my heart, and knew its edges to have become cold.   Efficiency had been killing my heart’s receptivity.

The accidental discovery of that translation set about a surge of gratitude, compassion and forgiveness, and a determination to protect the gift of heart.

And so I did, until I fell into busy-ness once again and, at the end of that most recent productive day, strained to hear and celebrate what had been there all along.

It was the desire to hear that released my thoughts, and brought rest.

Imagine that.

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