The Heart


A second day walking in New Jersey and it’s landscape is still very reminiscent of Pennsylvania… hilly. Wrestling with expectation will punish now and then. That hill in front of me should always be my last, and the New Jersey I imagine will be just over the next… the New Jersey of Meadowlands and Marshes. Expectations (mine in particular) cause us to think way too much. If these expectations weren’t bad enough, the loss of a brother weighs in. I made a commitment to unbroken steps across the country. This leaves my mind to wrestle …Why the road, and not a funeral? “Thought” clogged my senses. Thoughts of the hills in front of me. Thoughts of another place I should be, thoughts about why I’m on this road in New Jersey, and thoughts on what these few remaining footsteps mean.  I wrestled with all. It’s as if I have begun to drop from space and the flaming reentry becomes a fearfully bumpy ride . Then, almost unnoticed at first, my legs began pushing me harder up a hill that wasn’t supposed to be there.  My heart begins to play its game. I can feel it rising high in my chest to take control. Its a powerful sensation when the heart takes over. The mind rationalizes, devises and schemes, but it’s the heart that drives us beyond.  All that iconography of Jesus with his finger touching or exposing his heart, seems to have deeper relevance. Ever see any icon of Jesus touching his temple or forehead? And what about those Aztec Priests … plucking the beating heart out of their enemy? Maybe Aristotle and the ancients who believed it contained all human passion were on to something. I am conflicted by mind… not heart. That said, I march on through these hills. I close in on the goal. The heart awaits. It will rise to bear the unforeseen until finished.

David and I were polar opposites in every way the mind could imagine. The heart shows every inclination of taking me to meadowlands, marshes, and an emblematic bridge, and there David has his place to share them with me … in my heart.

2 thoughts on “The Heart

  1. Betty Norment

    Thinking of you… I know you felt torn to be with your family but I think this is what your brother would have wanted and expected. You may have been opposites but in knowing that, there existed an understanding of each other, and I’m sure he admired the man you are. I’m sure he would be the first to tell of this trip to his friends, with pride and maybe a little humor, because let’s face it, you can never escape being a little brother!

    Perhaps by walking, thoughts of your brother came unhampered by rituals and routines that we associate with dying, and offered a chance to reflect on your lives and relationships. I hope the remaining days will be calm and peaceful for you.

    Happy trails, Betty Norment

  2. Joan Hoffman

    Steve, I recognize, but cannot fully grasp the conflict that you are dealing with, but I believe your brother, my classmate, David , would understand what is in your heart as you have trudged across this country and are about to reach your destination. God speed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s