Occasionally I will read something so beautiful and well thought out that I have to toss whatever I'm working on into the waste basket. Enjoy this, from my friend Michelle, mother of Ciarra - who has Down Syndrome:
"Did you know that in the original Wizard of Oz book, the tin man actually started out with a heart? In fact, he was wildly in love. But a witch cast a spell on him that caused him to hurt himself, over and over again, until he had lost all of his limbs, and had to have them replaced with tin. The tin man believed that this made him stronger, he was like a machine, and unstoppable. But the wicked witch cast another spell that split him in two, and tore the heart from his body. Still, he believed this made him stronger, because he didnt have to feel, didnt have to care. But he knew something was missing, and even with his invinceable body, he craved a heart. His body became rusty and old, and he longed to love again.
Dorothy and the Scarecrow found him and took him to the Wizard of Oz to get a heart. Along the way, the Scarecrow and the tin man talked. “I shall ask for brains instead of a heart,” said the Scarecrow, “for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.” “I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Man; “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”
When they arrived, the Wizard of Oz said to the tinman: "As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable."
Said the Tin Woodsman: "But I still want one."
In many ways, Ciarra is like Dorothy to me, leading me to my heart. Taking me back to when I was young, before judgements and bias clouded my vision and stole my heart. The world is like the Scarecrow, trying to tell me that heart doesnt matter, that brains are all that count. Like the Wizard, I know that having your heart laid open for the world to see is painful, and that being this open to another human being will leave me vulnerable and scarred.
I still want that.
I am like the tin man, regaining myself piece by piece, allowing myself to learn to see what matters, searching for what is real and important and vital to life. The rust is falling away, my heart is open, and I have learned that it doesnt matter what the world thinks or wants. The only thing that matters is love.
"You DARE to come to me for a heart, do you? You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caligenous junk!"
Why yes, yes I do.