Let the Wound Lie Open

When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken,
Do not clutch it;
Let the wound lie open.
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt,
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it,
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell,
And let it ring.

~Michael Leunig “When the Heart”

photo by Harry Rodenberger

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen from “Anthem”

photo by Nate Gibson

Wounds come in various sizes and shapes,
some hidden, some quite obvious to all. 

How they are inflicted also varies–
some accidental,
others therapeutic and life-saving,
and too many, as happened this week,
intentionally and horrifically inflicted.

The most insidious are wounds so deep inside, 
no one can see or know they are there.
Those can cause fear and anger
that break a heart and mind with
a desire to control one’s destiny
by destroying others’.

These scars of living damaged,
these horrific wounds that don’t heal,
either lead to forever darkness
or can sting in repair, bathed by a Light
where before was none.

No wound is as deep and wide
as what the Word made Flesh
has borne for us:
love oozes from them,
grace heals from within.

Let the bells ring and never be silenced.


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One thought on “Let the Wound Lie Open

  1. Beautiful, consoling, practical advice, dear Emily.
    Your third paragraph: ”the most insidious wounds are so deep inside…”
    says it all. You are right.
    These wounds sometimes wallow inside our minds and souls for years,
    from early childhood and adolescence into adulthood,
    They taint, contaminate them, reeking like rotting garbage, turning away from the
    comfort of one’s Soul that is patiently waiting to help with its comfort and peace,.
    If not delivered by the Soul’s intervention or the help of medical psychiatry, these
    wounds alter one’s personality as they seek scapegoats for their misery!
    It is then that we witness the violence, the mind-blowing tragedies,
    that we have seen in our nation in the past few years –
    the pre-planned violence and murder of innocents.

    The ‘talking heads’ in the media, our Congress, NRA, other government entities,
    and our ‘social helping professions’ arguing, opining once again, offering antidotes to this developing genocide in our Nation. Talk, talk, talk, wringing our hands, leaving piles of lovely flowers by well-meaning stunned and caring people who want to share somehow in these tragedies are not the answer
    All of these reactions and well-meaning actions do not remove the blood stained
    school rooms and play yards where parents and all of us believed that our children were safe.
    I do not pretend to have THE answer. But we had better come together as a nation, respecting
    ALL human life, and somehow, ferreting out and helping the future killers of our children
    and those who care for them.

    Liked by 1 person

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