A bar of Menier … and the heart
I love dark chocolate. Cold. Hard. From the fridge. I have a secret stash… I have to train my mind to forget where I hide it… I love the bitter sweet taste of it as it melts ..
It is a strange love… because it is one that was born out of secrecy and stealth. Mum always had hidden chocolate. Loads of it. Piles of posh chocs in the dining room… that were hers… and hers alone.
So my sister and I wouldn’t dare go near that pile… but I wonder if she ever knew that the Menier Chocolat Patissier, in its bright green paper wrapping, in the top compartment of the fridge used to deplete little by little, tiny square by tiny square over time… Her prize cooking chocolate, our consolation prize for not being allowed the treats gathering dust in the dining room, their boxes less shiny from the dust… but would show our finger prints!
So as I sit here and munch on my modern day G&B 85% (Morrisons had run out of Menier), I look at the picture I drew earlier today… part of my homework!
When I worked with my coach about how I wanted to shape my future, she asked me to bring in something that was special to me. I took my favourite piece of jewellery, the delicate Tiffany necklace that James gave me for our first Christmas in 1998. I have never seen anyone else wear one the same… it has 5 miniature Tiffany Hearts along a delicate chain. I love it. Other than my children and the cat, it would be the one thing I would run to save from a fire…
I started thinking about hearts.. and I realize I have them all over our house! Most of the door knobs and cupboard doors have a little heart on them; our Christmas decorations are hearts… I doodle hearts when I am bored in meetings!
So I decided to draw a heart… a real one… to see if I could see how and why the modern day heart is drawn as it is.. A quick sketch… while Tom drew Owen Farrell (the England Rugby Kicker) ..
And while we were drawing, both curled up on the sofa with our pencils, Olly Murs came on the radio… ‘I drew a broken heart… right on your window pane’…
So I hacked my heart… What would a real broken heart look like?
And as I drew a jagged, ugly, stapled scar right across it… it got me thinking that we all have had our hearts broken… or at least all of us non-psychopathic people… for broken hearts can be from anything from your first break up to your last, from lost babies, lost parents, lost friends… to when your child looks out of the class room window with tears and snot streaming down their faces as Willy did today, to the haunting memory of your Mum through locked doors and secure glass…
But each of those breaks, those dagger wounds… heal. They start open, bleeding, raw… but the human body, the human pschye is incredible…. Because we are self healing. We patch ourselves up with bandages, staples, stitches… until the muscles weave back together and mesh, bond, mend. They leave a scar, but along with the painful memory, it is a mark of success. A mark that we overcame something that hurt, but that we are stronger for it.
And they soon fade… the ones of my childhood as the goldfish died, the ones of my teenage years as we lost our first lacrosse match, the ones of my young adulthood as my first love said he no longer loved me in the car on the M40 just by the Watlington turn off…. The ones of my parenthood from losing multiple babies…. The scars are there… but softer, pinkish, faint.
Sometimes during the healing process… if you rush it, if your stitches and staples are sloppy, not given enough focus… another hurt, another bash or bruise, can make the scar open up again… just like a zipper! With the staples pinging off all over the place… blood gushing out, squirting like one of those funny scenes in ER or Greys Anatomy which always have me squirming and laughing as they all shout ‘Gauze! Get me gauze!’…
Those moments can leave us shouting ‘get me the wine! Lots of it!’… but it’s a bit like the gauze, it can only soak up a little bit of the pain… before you need to get back to work and heal properly… and only time can do that and hard work, reflection… and patience…. And compassion… for yourself.
For the only person that can heal your heart, is you.
And maybe a bar of Menier….