Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Head and Heart Together

It showed itself early in the child he was. Head and heart. Both were so open, so ready, so expansive, so much more than a child’s mind could comprehend. Decisions were overwhelming. He could sense need from want, but not sort them. The loop would travel round and round, until he would cry for arms to surround his heart and a familiar soft song to quiet his head.

The brilliance of super intelligence and creativity was locked in the mind of a child who’s brain hadn’t fully developed. Oh the stories! It produced so many marvelous, magical, insights and influential thoughts. The generosity and vulnerability of a heart that was wide open to sensing what others felt is a gift and treasure of perfect sweetness and love. Every time it went unnoticed left puddles of bashful, shy insecurity.

Piles of perception without the ability to understand that others can’t hear hearts and see feelings is a challenge for anyone at a full-grown age.

It's an overwhelming mystery, an impossible arrogance for a child to have a thought that might sllow a possibility in which he could do something so wonderful and others could not.

It must be the picture or the child who is wrong.

It’s no wonder that information and thinking become safe. It’s no flaw that feelings and people become something to keep at bay. The first offered an equal and fair exchange. The second was a landscape constantly changing without rules that could be organized in a logical fashion. Brilliance and perception block the way of learning to navigate using all of your senses.

Standing behind a mother’s skirts, holding on to a toy that is fascinating, a brilliant child can build a castle, a university of protective self-preservation. From inside its safety made of observation, he can watch and learn the patterns to become part of the conversation. Only it takes so much longer and so much more effort because he sees every layer and every nuance around it. It’s so much harder and painful, because he has to give up his sameness to do it.

With all of his thinking, a place to meet shows itself.

He uses his sense of humor to come out to play. Then people look at that and not him. They don’t know it’s a bridge of understanding for him and for them. It’s where their feelings can say hello. It’s where he shows his heart.

I tell a friend and she says, “Gee I wonder where he got that from.”

Head and heart together. Head and heart – it took so long to know.

When head and heart come together life is a dance.

Head and heart together . . .

grace.

Head and heart together . . .

art.



−me strauss Letting me be

4 comments:

Dawn said...

Liz, your son is one extraordinary young man. Intelligence and creativity, generosity and vulnerability, playfulness and sensitivity. He received a marvelous combination of genes.

I agree with your friend, though. Change the pronoun to "she" and it describes his mother to a T.

ME Strauss said...

Dawn,
You are wonderful to say that. But as we see our child, we learn to grow us all over again.

Roger von Oech said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks for sharing this. You are making a number of points here but I especially liked this one:

"Piles of perception without the ability to understand that others can’t hear hearts and see feelings is a challenge for anyone at a full-grown age."

That succinctly expresses the two-fold nature of the artist's challenge: 1) finding a medium for expression (you can spend a lot of your years doing that); and, 2) mastering the requisite skills in order to express yourself in that medium.

Thought-provoking.

Best wishes,

Roger

ME Strauss said...

Hi Roger,
Thank you for pulling out that thought Hearing what others see in the missives is set down here stretches my thinking and turns around the dialogue in my head for me.