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April 18th, 2017

LJ Idol: Patchwork Heart

The blue piece with the grey pinstripes? I got that from a Nebraska boy with brown hair and soulful hazel eyes. We spent a humid Midwestern summer together, learning each other's bodies, memorizing the curves and the soft places. He left when the seasons changed, and he took a piece of my favorite white Tshirt with him.

The Black Sabbath logo? That one's from a shaggy haired boy I met at a dance hall, who let me sleep in his favorite concert shirt and always brushed the hair out of my eyes before he kissed me. Turns out the only thing he loved more than me was Jack Daniels, and the three of us never could get along.

If you put your nose up to that little bit of red silk up there -- the one that still has the pearl button it -- I bet it'll smell like Stetson. That one comes from the shirt T always wore, T with the haunted brown eyes, T who was too old for me and was a lost soul long before he found me. He made me laugh and he made my cry, mostly in equal measure, and I was broken hearted to hear that he'd died, even though it'd been nearly a decade since we'd seen each other.

Up in the corner there, that big cream colored piece, that one's from the dress I wore to my first wedding. I was so happy and in love that day. It's funny how fast things can change. Next to it there's a little strip of white linen, from the shirt he wore that day, when we stood up in front of our friends and our families and said that we were forever.

That piece of dark blue denim's from the jeans I wore the day I left. They tore on the edge of the truck door as I was loading up boxes. I hear the sound of the cloth rending and for a split second I was sure it was the entire world breaking open.

The little pin-up girl applique is from a girl who I'm pretty sure loved me but wouldn't let herself. She fought so hard and the stories in her head won.

Oh, this one is one of my favorites. That one's from the Elvis Tshirt M wore the first time she spent the night with me. So worn and soft, smelling like Drakkar and sweat. I would sleep with it when we couldn't be together, tuck it under my pillow so I could touch it throughout the night.

You know, everyone I've ever loved has taken a little piece of me, a little bit of my heart, when they've left. Part of loving is the willingness to give of yourself freely, knowing you might never get what you've given back. I've had the blessing and the curse of falling in love many times in this life, and it's left me with a heart covered with rips, tears, rends. It's left me with missing pieces.

But I'm a Midwestern girl, and my mother taught me how to sew.

And everyone I've ever loved, even as they have taken pieces of me with them, has left pieces of themselves behind. Sometimes just a scrap, sometimes whole yardage. It's the gift they give me in exchange for the love I give them.

And so I take these pieces, these patches, these scraps. I quilt them together with love, with anger, with tears, with memory. And I put my heart back together. Each and every time.



Sigur Ros Me

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