“My Heart” Is the Refrain (e-Mail)

On Sat, Jul 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM, Patrick Meadows wrote:

Had to tell somebody:

You remember Stephanie left dozens of notes to me hidden about the house, and I have been finding them over these five years?

I have found myself of late with a sort of refrain in my head, often repeated aloud (when I am alone) “My heart” is the refrain, always seeing her in the garden, in the countryside, in the car.

Today is just another day like the others, bits and pieces of the small things that fill a day.

Waiting for guests to arrive. It`s almost midnight. Their plane should have put down in Palma at 10.30. I’ve working on the transcription of the Cliffe Syhmphony No 2 most of the day, finally sending off the 2nd bassoon part to Lionel in London at about a quarter to eleven.

Concha arrived just minutes before dark to water the garden for Remedios, who has taken 4 days off to visit her son and daughter and ex-husband in Barcelona. Concha always looks like she’s at the end of her rope, mystified by the turns life has taken her through on the way from hippiedom to what might be called stunned adulthood. A wonder she didn’t fall off one of the terraces, where there are only stone steps going from one layer to the other, steps barely wide enough to put your two feet side by side. No moon, no light, but she did not fall.

She went on her way back to the village, it’s after ll.30. Still no guests. So I put on all the outside lights, left a note on the door. Served myself some maccarones with meat sauce – onions, mushrooms, a couple of guindilla hot peppers, a touch of nutmeg and a dash of cream to moisten the dish.

A glass of wine.

Turned on the TV.

Saw the end of a bowling film (of all things), worth it for the John Popper harmonica solo at the end. How does he do it? All those octaves, brilliant playing in Amish garb (Kingpin, the film).

Went down to check if the guests have arrived. Still no sign of them. Turned on more lights inside the house for welcoming them, left a bottle of wine in plain sight.

On Sky nothing good, so I flip to to Movies for Men. This is not what it seems. Mainly the movies are family soporific tales – this time a long-lost grandmother brings two estranged sisters together. Cameron Diaz the lovely sister. She reads a cummings poem at her sister’s wedding. The poem is “i carry your heart.” Like most cummings, the poem is beautiful, and this one makes me cry.

Still a sentimental fool, like always.

We used to read cummings poems to each other, always had his Selected Poems at hand.

Hearing it read at the wedding made me look the book up on the shelf, right where it had been for years. Luckily, the poem was one of the ones in that collection (1923-1958). I opened to page 97 and shock! She did it again.

In the margin at the head of the poem Stephanie had written my name so that it would read:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
(i had been wondering where it was)

  • Part of a collection of pieces Patrick sent me on 11 August 2015 called You Never Know.