Tag Archives: prose

Wordplay Wednesday: What If You Had to Really Give Your Heart Away?

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 4.07.44 AMA few months ago a friend and I were talking about fairy tales and how they always end after the first kiss – after the initial decision to be together. You never see the work it takes to keep a relationship together. We grow up with these romantic notions embedded in our consciousness but all we ever see are two people who agree to give their hearts to each other, but we never see them actually do it, and that’s the hard part.  After that conversation I wrote the following piece about what it would look like if we had to literally follow through with the phrase “I’ll give you my heart.” 

There’s a difference between deciding to give your heart to someone and actually doing it. Deciding is relatively easy; it just sort of happens. Someone shows up and you have no control over your reaction to them, the attraction, the pull. Sometimes there are obstacles before you can actually voice the decision and some people like to wait, just to be sure. Ultimately, it’s an inside job. Your gut decides long before you ever choose to put words to it. Mentally you never really had a choice. It is the end of the fairy tale, get on your white horse together and ride off into the sunset.

For some people that’s enough – to just say the words, living on the idea that you decided to give your heart to someone, and you really would if you had to, but again, have you ever thought about what it really means? I like you so much I want to give you possession of my most vital organ. How do you even do it? Literally, how do you give your heart to someone? Would you hand them a scalpel and let them carve it out of your chest?

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it’s easy if it’s the right person. Maybe I’ve seen too many episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, but if the idea of someone – even the most well-intentioned person you know – holding a knife to your chest doesn’t make you nervous then I think you’re doing something wrong. There’s a reason they leave it at “ever after.”

I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m not discouraging it any sort of way. I’m just recently realizing that it isn’t as easy as Disney made it out to be. It’s actually really hard, and confusing, and terrifying, because it doesn’t just fade to black when the finale kiss ends in real life. You have to actually get out that scalpel at some point. You can delay by asking them, “Are you sure?” a few dozen more times, but if you’re going to do this for real then it means unbuttoning and letting them see the scars of all your previous hack jobs.

So you take a deep breath. One more “Are you sure?” just in case, and proceed, slowly. Lay yourself out. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Begin. It’s a delicate procedure and there’s no harm in being cautious. It’s barely started when the scalpel grazes over the bruise left over from that night seven months ago that left you feeling mortified and so stupid. You wince and the knife stops. Suddenly you’re freaking. out. because all you can think about are all the other scars still to be uncovered. The one from that guy who said it was a friendship ring but really they were engaged and you were too obsessed with your own feelings to see he was in love with someone else. Or the one from that time you said “forever” but he couldn’t  pretend to care enough to pick you up from the train station. There are dings and scrapes from all the ones before him that hurt you, that just walked away.

Now he’s wondering if this is just too hard. Maybe there is too much damage to continue. You don’t blame him because, honestly, you can’t tell if you’re more nervous that he’s going to walk away or keep going. You were naive enough to think you could just cringe your way through it, simply grit your teeth and bear it until it was over. You miss the kissing part. That was nice, warm and comfortable. The kissing was full of promise and this is full of fear. Can’t you just go back there and put the messy stuff off? Maybe that’s best for a little while. There are no words for how terrified you are of the possibly that he’ll finish cutting you open and find nothing but scraps and broken pieces. It’s far too much to ask of anyone to try and put it all back together. No one signed up for that.

Breathe. Just remember to breathe. Calm down. Yes, you have scars. Everyone does. But that night seven months ago that made you feel so stupid? That’s why you cherish anyone saying they can open up to you so much. The guy with the rings? That’s why you’re always honest, no matter how inconvenient it can be. That time you said forever? It’s why you never make promises you can’t keep. You’ve been hurt, a hazard of being human. Wounds heal and yes, leave scars – you’re not perfect (it’s okay, no one is). The scars make you who you are and you are more than damage. Believe that. You have to – it’s the only way to make him believe it too, that it’s worth picking up again. Be brave and don’t sweat the small stuff. Take a leap of faith. Trust.

Breathe. Just remember to breathe. Save your strength, because after you find a way through all of that you still have to convince him to hand the scalpel over to you.


Do you have a favorite or original poem you would like showcased on Wordplay Wednesday? We’d love to share it! Email the poem to editor@intent.com, and we will feature it in the series. Click here to view past Wordplay Wednesdays.

Wordplay Wednesday: Don’t Go Gently Into That Good Night

"The LORD is my Light..."Shining light into dark places is going to bring to light what was not seeable otherwise.
Illumination may well show you the true nature of things as they are, not as you had imagined or wanted.
It can be unsettling. Shadows will dance.

Because you are going to see the true nature of the relationships you hold most dear to you, and the perception of you within them.


The light of awareness may just show you that you are ultimately alone – more alone than you had ever known or imagined.

But as the searing light falls upon those dancing shadows, know that if met with equanimity and acceptance, you will see ultimately that every black detail of this revelation is a deeply beautiful gift.

Finally, and with undoable knowledge – you now know the Truth. You will not, again, look for something where it is not. The Truth will have been spoken. And it will be heard in all its terrible glory:  you are not wanted, understood or supported.
And in this message there is the fiercest kind of  beauty.

Because in this message, there is liberation. And the deepest healing.
You may finally- at last – stop running.
You finally see. You finally know.
Never again will you delude yourself into thinking something is what it is not.
And this is beautiful.

‘Do not go gently in to that good night..’

Be prepared to see your image shine back at you standing all alone – as others cut loose from you, insisting your difference, screaming a shrill and loud rejection of you.

Know that in this too, when met with internal stillness, there is beauty.
There is cleansing.
The old is falling away.

Clean Sense.
This is the gift of shining lights in the dark.
This is the gift of diwali and eclipses.
The festival of light and shadows.
Ultimately the work of the light is for healing.

Illumination will remove shadows.
And relieved of chasing shadows – you are finally, forever free.
The Truth Is Beautiful.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Welcome the Light

Originally posted on my website, The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spirituality

Wordplay Wedneday: Looking for Love

Way of the heartI have been looking for you

I have searched for you in the kiss of a stranger

I have sought you in the eyes of my child

I thought you might be hidden in the arms of my mother

Or perhaps in the songs my father sang me to sleep.

I crumble in defeat

Wishing I could have found your comfort

But you elude me

Dodging me in my quest to conquer you, to hold you and claim you as mine once more

because you are waiting…

For me to stop thinking about you, to stop hunting you

Because the thoughts of a mind cannot give you your due

They cannot define you, because you are indescribable

What word could I possibly utter that would explain you. It’s all so limited and small against your expanse

And so you wait….

Until I go out of my mind and finally see that you have been here all along, behind the words of wisdom, underneath the fear and doubt. Love…


We spend every waking minute seeking ways to experience this feeling. I have no other word in my language but love to describe it, but it just does not do it justice. From the moment I emerged from the womb, I felt as if it was ripped from my soul. Sometimes so frantic to find it I would do anything to experience the warmth of it’s caress, the never ending expansiveness of it, the gift of wholeness it would bring, wreaking such havoc in my soul, risking all that I have thinking this time I will catch it.

But this is not something to catch, there is no mind trap I could conjure that would snare it. It is just here, right here. And only when I finally stop knowing the path, when I stop chasing it, and stand still will I feel it’s arms already wrapped around me.


Do you have a favorite or original poem you would like showcased on Wordplay Wednesday? We’d love to share it! Email the poem to editor@intent.com, and we will feature it in the series. Click here to view past Wordplay Wednesdays.

Wordplay Wednesday: A Poetry Series That Will Rock Your Soul

Parole perduteContinuing on with the Wordplay Wednesday tradition, Intent will be sharing inspiring, uplifting, and thought-provoking poems with our audience every Wednesday! Some you may recognize, others you might not. There will be famous poets, unknown poets, young and old poets, and, hopefully, poets from our own community showcased in this weekly series.

Why poetry?

Poems tell a story that is unlike any other form of writing – and any other form of art, for that matter. They weave words together in a way that is unique to the artist, and often even distinct to the individual piece, itself. That is, there is virtually no rubric in the domain of poetry. Some are long, some are short; some rhyme, some grate and create dissonance; some follow conventional structures, some break down all notions of order. The one constant, however, is their ability to move and speak to us in a way only our spirits could explain.

For this week’s Wordplay Wednesday, enjoy a beautiful, naturalistic poem by early 20th century, American poet, Sara Teasdale.


Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

* * *

Do you have a favorite or original poem you would like showcased on Wordplay Wednesday? We’d love to share it! Email the poem to editor@intent.com, and we will feature it in the series. Click here to view past Wordplay Wednesdays.


A Knife of 20 Edges



Looks itself

In the mirror

And sees

Nothing but mind.


First Mother,

Caught up in the evolutionary jungle of simultaneous threats,

Instructs its child:

“Listen, everything you will be seeing for the next 8 hours

Is a dream. Mommy’s gonna be busy surviving for both of us.”

And so we dream,

Piously, uncritically, blissfully.

Dream was the first baby-sitter.


The Cinderella of Mindlessness

Runs the whole house of the body

All by itself

From dawn to midnight,


Of being awake

At the Equinox of Ball of Time

When the Present eclipses itself.


Nothing to transcend

But transcendence


Blindness exhales its own memory of vision,

Like an old pair of gloves.

Reality is out of touch!

It finally knows.


I prostituted

My innermost Self

To the approval of Money.

Yes, I have.



Have you.

We all have.

At some point or another.

Time isn’t money.

Time is consciousness.

Take it back.


You know the Truth

When you can’t tell

One and the same lie from itself.


A word

dreams of what it represents,

Just like the mind

Dreams of the reality

That it purports to reflect.


You know how when you were a kid and you could see a face in a fold of a curtain.

And, you know how you could glance away, “come back,” and still see it?

You too are a fold in a curtain,

A wrinkle in the informational fabric of your consciousness.

This ego is the first pattern you saw.

But! It’s not your original face.

Signal is the noise.

Something is just another nothing.

See what I mean?


Matter is inanimate

No matter how long consciousness plays with it.


Quadrillions upon quadrillions

Of matter particles

Have absolutely no business being

In one and the same place

That you call “you”

Except for that one all-organizing meme of consciousness

That calls itself “I.”

You – whether you want to or not – are

The bird that leads this flock of cosmos

From chaos into an illusion of order.

How marvelous

And how hopelessly unexplainable!



Like magnetic field,

Attracts random particles of matter

Into an idiosyncratic artwork of body,

Just to say Namaste to itself.

Beautiful, huh?

But here’s the ugliness:

Liking the reflection it sees,

It clicks “Save.”

And the nesting doll of self-referencing mind is born.

And out of it comes the child of ego,

One moment at a time, ever colicky.

When you meet the Buddha on the road,

Kill him.


Do You

Realize that


Have been able to detect


Through every experience that


Have ever had no matter how varied and original?


Have been able to see


Through a bewildering complexity of reality without any problem.


My friend, are operating like a high-frequency signal that can break through any cloud of noise.


‘ve burst through the thick and thin of the material fog like a tachycardia of unmistakable essence!


My friend,

Are the highest frequency signal that exists.


My friend, are beating to the drumbeat of light.


Consciousness plays with body like clay

Trying to sculpt an accurate picture of Nothingness that it is.

It can’t be done.

Not through poetry.

Not through math.

Not through zen.


I pity pity.


I am

a blinking cursor

on a blank page of a Word.


Ego is a document.

Who for?


Money means “not free.”
Free yourself from the illusion of money:

Reality is free.

Share it.


Zen is a u-turn sign.

Don’t follow it.

Follow Nothing.



Has a nice ring to it.



Existence is a joke.

It gave you a mother.

It gave you a father.

It gave you you.

And you still question it with the doctrine of sunyata.




Is when you match-make

Reality with what it’s Not

Without either party knowing it.

pavel somov, still is
copyright 2009

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