love and heretics

It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness

The Heart Box

Every day Jane worried. She knew something must be wrong.
You see her heart kept trying to pop out of the heart box it was supposed to stay in.
It just would not be still. She would crack open just the tiniest sliver of one side of the box so as to check on it.
“Jane”, the others said,”What are you doing? What is wrong with you? Do you not know you must NOT, under any circumstances, not ever, not even at all, open the box?”
“But why not?” Jane would ask. “It does open. Maybe it was meant to?”
To which the others replied, “It is not meant to open. It is meant to keep shut…to protect the heart! Keep it safe and closed! Do you want to end up like those over there?”
Those who were no longer the Others, they had become something else.
For they had tried to open one side of their boxes, and their hearts had grown a size and no longer quite fit. So the “heart box fixers” had been called to repair the boxes.
Oh how silly they looked. Oh how the Others laughed and scorned them.
They sat lonely, sadly against a wall wearing signs upon their necks.
(loser) (couldn’t leave the box alone!) (stubborn)
A “box fixer” stood over them…duct-taping their boxes back.

She must admit, the Not Quite Others, did look sad, and nobody was very nice to them.
That would not be a good fate.
But Jane felt her heart quiver in her box. She felt something was wrong here. She felt like there had to be more.
What if…the box were a wrapping like on a present!
What if it was supposed to come off?
What if…
What if….

The Others told her not to ask such questions anymore if she knew what was good for her.
Jane did try, but her heart would not be still. It would keep hopping and jerking her box like it wanted to get out! She popped one side open a tiny bit, and then became afraid her heart might leap out! She began to run, to hide the partially opened box from the Others. She ran and ran till she could run no longer.
She came to a place where there were people walking around without heart boxes!
What was this place? Where were their hearts and boxes? How could they be alive?
They all had smiles upon their faces, and seemed so happy. She carried her heart box cautiously up to one of them asking, “Where is your heart box? Where is your heart?”
The Smiley ones told her if you opened your heart box and allowed your heart to come out- it would begin to grow…and the more it saw the sunlight the more it would grow until it became big enough to be a part of the sun, and a part of you.
How strange, thought Jane. She could not see their hearts. What if they were lying?
What if her heart would be hurt? or disappear? But then she saw the smiles upon their faces, and how happy they truly were. It seems even if their hearts were gone, it would not be the end. And they were happy!
So she stayed with them and decided she would take the risk. For at least she was among kind people who smiled and treated her as a friend. So, she opened her box.
What joy she felt! What freedom!
Her heart was leaping in joy, and enjoying the sun ever so much, and growing…and growing …and growing.!!!
She began to smile, and then her heart was no longer visible…where had it gone?
But she found that she no longer worried, The fear was gone and she knew she had done the right thing.
It began to rain later and the most beautiful thing happened. For the first time, she saw how their hearts were connected to the sun! A rainbow could faintly be seen running from each heart to the sun…
Jane was very happy, living among the smilers who had opened their heart boxes.
Could she stay here and keep this joy to her self?
What about the Others? Could she teach them this joy,this freedom?
Would they believe her? Surely so!
So off Jane went back to the Others, smiling and singing as she went.
But when the Others saw Jane, they were horrified that she did not have her box!
Where was her box? They must see it now!
Jane began to tell the beautiful story of the smilers, and of opening her box,
and her heart growing and becoming one with the sun!
But alas, the Others’ hearts were so boxed in they could not, would not listen.
They were afraid of Jane now, for they did not understand how she could be different.
They began to hurl rocks at her, and yell for her to leave them alone. They shouted at her, calling her names. “Liar!” “Deceiver!” “Trickster!” They held their boxes a little closer, and a little tighter.

Jane kept on smiling and singing feeling strength from her shared heart of the sun.
Finally there were two of the Not Quite Others who came to her and said,”Please, show us this place where there are no boxes and where there are those who smile!”
And so Jane took them to the smilers and rejoiced with them as they peeled off the tape, and began to let their hearts out of the box.
Jane would keep singing, but would go back. For maybe there would be more who would dare, dare to be curious enough to want to know about the heart boxes. And Jane would continue to hope that another could take the chance and open their box.

~H.Campbell 2009


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