Going Down

Sometimes you just cannot respond with an open heart.


My father died recently, leaving my mother vulnerable and unsure. His death, or perhaps it is more his absence, has disturbed unspoken boundaries and unleashed pent up emotions and resentments among members of my extended family.

It seems right to me to defend my mother, and further to create a space between myself and other members of my family who have behaved badly, doing and saying things that are cruel, selfish, and just plain wrong. I don’t see any other options. How can I have an “open heart” in this kind of situation?

My friend, my teacher, smiled at these angry words. “So, the elevator door opened in front of you, and you walked in” she said back to me. “And then you went straight down to the basement.”

elevator to the basement

With thanks (begrudgingly), to Aly



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