The Sound of a Heart Breaking

Friday, May 6, 2022

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The piece below was written by Karen Kunawicz circa 1997.

Sometime in 2005, I was given a clipping of her column in The Manila Times where this article appeared and I have hung on to it ever since. This perfectly captures the angsty aesthetic so prevalent in my writing.

What is the sound of a heart breaking?

It is the sound of someone curled up in a tiny ball crying softly in the night, the sound of the first unwanted teardrop touching your skin, it’s the sound of a telephone that doesn’t ring, the sound of regret pounding inside your brain with every heartbeat, it’s the whispers of the toy animals he gave you.

It’s the shuffling of feet walking away from you, the sound of your soul shattering into a million pieces, at recognizing the word goodbye, it’s the soundtrack of memories torturing you, it’s the sound of your own feeble hands desperately trying to push back the hands of time, it’s the sound of all those years disappearing into the vortex of Cupid’s kitchen sink, it’s the unrelenting, plaintive baby meows of an abandoned kitten outside your door.

It’s the sound of the rain that has never ever stopped, of all the doors of the world shutting at the same time, of raging, howling storms in the night when there’s no one there to hold you, the sound of your voice as it screams back at you, the echo of ‘I love yous’ burning holes in you, the sound your heart makes as it tells you to lie still because nothing you will ever do will matter without love.

The sound of the waves at the polluted beach you went to as it moves from the shore and crashes inside your mind, of the sniffles that make up your pathetic ‘S.O.S. to the world,’ the cracking of the brittle black-red petals from the sidewalk vendor roses he gave, the sound of music he made going straight to your gut.

The sound of the things in your room being thrown around and landing on the floor, the caress of kitchen knives on skin, the sound your throat makes as it swallows your saltiest tear.

It’s the sound of your own voice calling out to someone who isn’t there, of dying birds getting splattered on a city pavement, of terms of endearment used a hundred times a day struggling to crawl into a vacuum of forgetfulness, it’s the sound of your own sobs keeping you company, it’s the cold, uncaring stillness of the air you share your space with.

Destruction isn’t always as noisy as bombs exploding. Sometimes the ultimate catastrophe can be as quiet as a feather falling on the floor of a Zen monastery.

No one else can really hear your heart breaking except you.

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The Gardener

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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Earlier today, I randomly went through my electronic poetry collection, which includes the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Georgina Rossetti and Rabindranath Tagore, among others.

Rabindranath TagoreOne of the poems that has long since pulled at my heartstrings is The Gardener by Tagore. The entire work is quite lengthy, but it never gets stilted.

I first heard of the author when I was in my first year of high school, at our Values Education class wherein he was quoted in our textbook. I looked him up in the library and eventually came across some of the poetry he had written.

I was proverbially reunited with Tagore when excerpts from The Gardener were quoted in a Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction series, Of Love and Honor. This work, beautifully and lyrically constructed by Tin Mandigma, remains unfinished to date, but is recognized as one of the best fanfic pieces in the RK fandom. The central characters in Of Love and Honor are Aoshi Shinomori and Misao Makimachi - the Oniwabanshuu Okashira and his Itachi Musume.

Excerpts from THE GARDENER
by Rabindranath Tagore

I love you, beloved. Forgive me my love.
Like a bird losing its way I am caught.
When my heart was shaken it lost its veil and was naked.
Cover it with pity, beloved, and forgive me my love.

If you cannot love me, beloved, forgive me my pain.
Do not look askance at me from afar.
I will steal back to my corner and sit in the dark.
With both hands I will cover my naked shame.
Turn your face from me, beloved, and forgive me my pain.

If you love me, beloved, forgive me my joy.
When my heart is borne away by the flood of happiness,
Do not smile at my perilous abandonment.
When I sit on my throne
And rule you with my tyranny of love,
When like a goddess I grant you my favour,
Bear with my pride, beloved, and forgive me my joy.

Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I have watched all night,
And now my eyes are heavy with sleep.
I fear lest I lose you when I am sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.

I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?"
Could I but entangle your feet with my heart
And hold them fast to my breast!
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
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Kick in the Teeth

Sunday, February 8, 2015

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I recently came across the older entries of a very interesting blog, Literary Rejections on Display.

Although the blog's creator has, ironically, moved on to a career as a published writer, the website still has posts wherein aspiring authors anonymously shared the rejection letters or some such they received after querying their written works to various agents.

Below are some quotes on failure and rejection, which may just be the thing to get you back on your feet!

"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
~Walt Disney

"We pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free."
~Tom Robbins

Can't believe we are already a week into the second month of 2015!
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