writing with a tender heart

Coolness can be the enemy of the tender heart.

How good it feels to love without being told that our loving is somehow unacceptable or uncool.

What if coolness at its best is an unabashed enthusiasm for uncool things? If cool equals what we love, even if others don’t agree or don’t see as we see, then we’re cool whenever we’re loving.

In that tender place of uncool coolness, what treasures capture your attention?

As a kid, I decided what constituted treasure by unfurling my tender heart toward …

a plain pebble that reached out for me, a tiny bug on the tip of a long blade of high grass waving hello with a leg, a delicate seed pod, a stranger’s shopping list tucked among cans at the grocery store, the beautiful face of someone not considered conventionally beautiful, a kind word from someone who understood me, a silence long enough to find myself within.

I’ll bet you found treasures as a kid by loving with a tender heart, too. I hope we’re both still doing it.

Lately, I’ve made a habit of tossing treasures over the fence into a sandy corner of the schoolyard across the street from our house when no one’s there: a beaded ring I no longer want, a rock that sparkles in the sun, broken bits of tile the color of summer sky. I offer them as seeds to the kids who play there, to increase their likelihood of finding treasure.

Decide on your own what cool is. Check with the circulatory system pulsing between your neurons and your heart to tell you what matters. Write about treasures that activate your tender heart.


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2 comments to writing with a tender heart

  • Terr

    This is a very thoughtful post. I love the lesson in how an open, loving heart will find the beauty in even the most mundane, normal, everyday things of life. On the other hand, a cool, closed, evil heart will find the ugliness in even the most beautiful of objects or people.

    • The eye of the beholder is powerful for sure. And those folks who look for ungliness and find it … well, I can’t help feeling tenderhearted toward them, too, and believe that there’s a seed somewhere in there (even if no one in this lifetime ever locates it and it never sprouts) that has the potential to recognize beauty.