The Write Idea


How to Heal a Broken Heart

Filed under: Uncategorized — ljcollins @ 10:56 am

I wrote the piece below and posted it to Facebook a while back. It seems that I also deal with broken hearts by starting new blogs. I started my first (semi-anonymous) blog when I was newly divorced and new to the whole concept of online community (pre-facebook, etc.). You can still find those old writings here: Wild and Precious. When I wrote a book about divorce ritual, I created a beautiful website with its own blog … but quickly realized I didn’t want to make a whole career out of the divorce industry. So those blog posts are just saved as documents. Maybe I’ll post a few from time to time. And then I started this blog to talk more about writing.

Each of these blogs fell by the wayside, so it may seem strange for me to start yet another (my fourth!) blog. But that’s what I plan to do. So enjoy the post below and watch this site for my new blog, coming soon(ish).

How to Heal a Broken Heart.

Walk into your boss’s office on a Wednesday afternoon and announce that you can’t take it another moment and since you haven’t used a single sick day all year, you’re going to take two mental health days and you’ll see her on Monday.

Get in your car and drive home.  Throw a few things in a bag and start driving toward the beach.
Feel the tightness around your heart start to loosen as you glide down out of the mountains while Stevie Wonder sings about ordinary pain.


Watch old black men in tractors move slowly across flat fields of cotton where their ancestors broke their backs. Watch young black men lounge on the hoods of old Buicks along the side of the road while Stevie sings of being a little nappy-headed boy.


Watch the biggest orange moon you’ve ever seen rise over the darkening fields. Miss your turn. Turn around. Start again.


Arrive at the beach house. Park. Don’t unpack the car. Walk straight to the sand where your friends are in the middle of a full moon ritual. Hold their hands and chant to the goddesses. Let your beautiful shaman sister beat the hell out of you with her despacho.

Take off all your clothes. Step into the ocean. Walk. Float. Let go.

Sit on the porch drinking wine in silence.

Lie down in the hallway of the house where a pallet is on the floor, made just for you. Fall into a deep sweet sleep to the sounds of the ocean meeting the sand, again and again. Crashing and returning. Ebbing and flowing.

Wake up before dawn. Find the coffee already made. Stand on the deck and watch the sun rise to your left and the moon set to your right. There is water all around you. Know that everything is fluid. Know that the sun rises without fail.

Walk. Walk to the end of the island with a wise woman at your side. Laugh. Talk to the birds. Play with the dogs. Keep walking.

Swim. Swim out into the windy sea. Let it knock you to the sand. Dive in again. Get knocked down again. Keep swimming.

Pour a glass of wine and sit on the marsh dock with your crazy friends.

Blow bubbles.

Eat leftover shrimp.

Pour another glass of wine and curl up next to another man cheering on the Colts. Remember losing your voice at Friday night football games week after week and making your chorus teacher crazy because you wouldn’t stop cheering on your friends.

Fall asleep. Dream.

Wake before dawn. Make a pot of coffee. Walk around the entire island with two of the best men you know. Talk about nothing. And everything. Make another pot of coffee. Eat an enormous brunch.

Swim out into the calm sea. Do laps alone between the jetties. Welcome your fellow water signs who join you. Swim some more.

Take lots of very long, very hot showers because you aren’t paying the water bill and you don’t feel like being environmentally conscious right now.

Stare at the ocean.

Have a Tarot reading. Absorb the possibilities.

Swim some more.

Play in the waves with the baby from next door. Reclaim your dream of becoming a grandmother.

Take another shower.

Drink more wine.

Eat more seafood.

Send a thank you to your lover for the gifts he gave you. Release him.

Sit in the sand and cry.

Sleep to the sound of the waves.

Awaken to your new life.



1 Comment »

  1. This is lovely. I’d prefer that no one had to have a broken heart at all, but if they must, then this is good advice. ❤

    Comment by P.J.Negative — 10/22/2014 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

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