The Heart Cries by Emory S. ’21

The Heart Cries: 7 reasons to write in 2020 by Emory S. ’21


Last week the man on the ground, a black man in Minneapolis leaving a store after purchasing cigarettes with a presumed counterfeit twenty dollar bill, said he wanted his mom, under the knee of a cop. And there he was, alone and scared. 

I can’t breathe, he said. Mom! 

On the rough ground of that street George Floyd’s story was being recorded so he would never die. Get off of him, one recorder said. He’s dying. Just seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived, George Floyd was unresponsive. 

Now his voice is everywhere -- on masks, on flags. We still can’t breathe, they’re saying. We’re suffocating. They march in a line down past the library. They scream No justice no peace


The kitten walks to the metal bowl. Even when the snow is blowing! Not even 5 pounds, mostly fur and bone, small lungs the size of a palm -- yet he breathes everyday, all winter, all summer. 


One warm day a few years ago, Dianne Carlson laid in the hospital bed just in time to give her healthy bone marrow and blood. In time to donate to two sick children, one was her own. 

Why should a child receive the marrow of her fifty something year old mother? 4. 

Ski patrollers find a cold man, alive but terrified after an avalanche, one of who knows how many, snow everywhere around him. 


The chickadee hops branch to branch, black and white, serene. Crickets chirp at nightfall, and falcons swoop, catching prey. Everything works together: birds, you, mice, butterflies- you feel the butterflies of your own stomach: 

Let yourself breathe

Let the cold hit your teeth 

You will be sad again, but not now. Now the world is happy and laughing with you, everything you have cried about and smiled about: the smell they left on your pillow; your best friend; your favorite movie, the tree that sits outside your window, the one your grandmother loved. 

The hummingbird is trying to hide hovering so smoothly and relentlessly you think the bird will burn up - and it does: into a swift motion under the bright red feeder that pushes wind against your eyelashes and breaks your heartbeat. 

You cry now because you are also burned up, because her heart weeps and feels empty. The things you know about the world, the beautiful stories you are told, have collapsed, and now, before you’re eternally sad, you want to appreciate them. Imagining your step overlapping with theirs is how you continue. 


I believe writing is a human therapy, it’s always an option, people need it. Unlike the idea that writing is only for intellectuals, a smart person’s activity, it is now known writing reinforces beliefs, ideas, thoughts, in your mind, keeping it active. 

In other words, everytime you write something down, you are taking it for a ride: fixing, elongating, accentuating it through your own hand. 

If you can’t write, you can’t know importance from unimportance. 

Un-importance is depressing! 

Everyone here is a writer. 

Our journals are stories and edits from images, from our brains never ending influx of knowledge, a pool of detail, a ball of things so confusing that we cannot understand truth from words on a page. 

Yet we will always try. 

We are all our own, and we are all unknown. 

Every word on the page is placed with the dictionary of your mouth.


Now, you are likely thinking of writing, your own, your favorite author’s or what you will write next. 

My mother explained to me that there are things that we know are coming, and things we could never possibly know in this moment. We know that tomorrow there will be a test at 1pm. We know that next week is Thanksgiving. 

We don’t know if sea monsters live in the unexplored 95% of the ocean. We don’t know what we will eat for lunch next Friday. 

As you begin to wander down the lines of your notebook leave time for the future, the unknown, the monsters and the magic that break the ceilings. 

Every pen gives itself to the idea of the future, to the ones who need to breathe, to the ones you love and have entered your mind and never looked back. 

We cry because we will die, but every second we have is a gift to the future.