The blue jay wars continue in my tree. A third has joined the fray. Now I wonder if there is some sexual competition going on. One male bird screams: “Mine!” The other: “No way! I was here first!” Meanwhile the female flits back and forth, trying to decide which one she is more or less disgusted with. They are both obnoxious idiots. But she has a nest in mind, and these are the idiots she has to work with. One proffers a twig, as if to say: “Here are my assets. See what I can do!” She considers it. When a man starts talking real estate, this is more binding than diamonds. Still, she’s not sure. Does this twig truly answer her deepest need?
If Emily were here on the porch today, she would say this:
#1311, c. 1875
This dirty — little — Heart
Is freely mine,
I won it with a Bun
A freckled shrine —
But eligibly fair
To him who sees
The Visage of the Soul
And not the knees —
It’s almost unfair what Emily does to men with her pretty hair tied up in a bun and her sun-dappled face, a shrine to the goddess within. It’s shooting fish in a barrel, really. Hardly sporting. Any one of these dirty little hearts can be putty in her hands. Sorry, I’m mixing my metaphors, but you take the point.
She knows how easy it is to beguile a passing heart with whatever gifts a woman may have been blessed to possess for a time. The gifts don’t last. That is what makes the capture of a man’s dirty little heart in the end a hollow victory. It’s too easy. The heart that gives itself over to her on those terms, drawn in by her lovely hair and freckles, is a dirty heart because such an exchange is a bad contract. Dirtied by an improper and undue emphasis on these accidental physical attributes. Mistaking the icing for the cake. (Whee! Another lofting metaphor. Stay with me now.)
Emily wants a heart proffered to her by one who can see the face behind her freckles. A man who does not mistake the shrine for the ineffable light that her shrine leads him to. How many of us become preoccupied with the utensils of the sacred ritual. The bells and whistles. The Eucharist and chalice. The feathers and freckles. All these point to something invisible, the true source that enlivens all. The origin of the beauty that beguiles is not visible to the eyes in our head. We only think it is. We have to look with another set of eyes to see this beauty.
Emily wants that holy matrimony. To see and be seen as she is. Not for her adorable knees which will sag in time. She asks for a pilgrim with true sight to see the invisible part of her that never decays and never dies.
Emily, I wish you luck and sympathize with your dismay over dirty hearts too easily given. It’s not their fault. There just aren’t enough out there like you. I’d say almost no one has your sight or even your hunger for this sight. Consider the pool of idiots you have to work with. They have their own agenda, and it involves real estate. Women are just another asset on that agenda.
My advice Emily is that you should hold your place. Hold your vision. You keep the world spinning on its axis with your poems and your truth. Without that, there is nothing. No real estate, no nests. Nothing. No one else may know that, but I do.
So just keep knowing what you know. If nothing else, know that I love the visage of your soul. I don’t care about your silly hair or your freckles. Although, I’m sure they’re very nice.