Slow Down My Beaten Heart.

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A tired manifesto.

[Photo: Francesca Woodman]

I’d like to have time to kneel and smell the flowers, get pollen all over my face and have bees chase me around for being nosy.

I’d like to remember the smell of an early morning; get up with the sun and be the first Eve who ever walked on Earth, naked. Does anybody know what dew is?

I’d like to be a cat when I stretch, feel my cells multiply as I reach the other side of a yawn; decaffeinate my heartbeats, green up my tea.

I’d like to reach a higher scale in my shower symphony, compose an opera piece on the spot and splash the bathroom walls with notes. Wash all my sins away with organic soap.

I’d like to sit still until all fear starves itself and silence is ok; breathe deeply in some universal chest like a healthy organ. And then be born and curious about the world again, pointing at things with chubby fingers, because they are so fresh and new, they haven’t been named yet.

I’d like to answer all my phone calls and mean the how-are-yous and not save my honesty until all the good-byes have been sentenced over my wireless head.

I’d like to be a friend of insects and men. Not be afraid of mirrors. Not even scream at spiders.

I’d like to yogalize my poses, buddhalize my prayers, jesusize my love and hindulize my smile.

I’d like to whisper to only a few people under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over the internet rooftops.

I’d like to put a heart in every word even if it ends up so beaten that I run out of all my seven lives before my grave is finished.

I’d like to love you out loud, not only in the dark cave of my mind, with bats hanging out of my eyes, in the opposite direction.

I’d like to speak in complete sentences, instead of SMSing  E-people with LOL-lives always in !!!!! demand for + Facebook #Likes. I’d like to kiss with my lips instead of XO with my keyboard.

I’d like to love my neighbor even when his f***ing TV drives me so f***ing crazy I could reach across the f***ing wall and pull out the morning-show f**ks through the TV screen and get them another f***ing job that doesn’t degrade humanity.

I’d like to be 100% recyclable, untraceable, not remembered, only perceived, non-violent, transparent, like water; donate all my organs, leave only footsteps on a beach, not carbon footprints on my future children’s faces.

I’d like to take naps, lots of naps, preferably in a swing or by a fireplace, preferably in the sun, with a dog drooling over my feet; and never have to hear the sound of another alarm clock again.

I’d like to write letters – at least once a month, with real ink on thick, recycled paper, and seal them with my ring on candle wax; send them away with a carrier pigeon and then wait patiently for the answer, looking down from a castle window. Not type up anxious atoms on a screen, click, double-click to open, close and open, close again, why-won’t-you-load, brainless, annoying piece of s**t?

I’d like to have some faith, just any faith that I can walk on water and not drown; and even if I didn’t have that faith, jump off the boat with no lifesaver, anyway; especially during Shark Week.

I’d like to hear some real birds chirp over my shoulder, not blue, dead birds tweet hashtags with my fingers.

I’d like to finish all the books I start. Review the universal story through every pair of glasses. And after all is said and done, be even more certain that I know nothing yet.

I’d like to love and lose and love again, and lose and love and lose again, because what else is there to do.

I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, just touching feet and feet, and eating breakfast for dinner, off a blanket. And stay alive like that in bed. 24 hours.

I’d like to sit with old people and understand why they’re not in a hurry, rest for a few minutes at the shade of their deep and heavy, bulldog wrinkles; and listen to the stories they tell from when the world didn’t use to end.

I’d like to flush my Blackberry down the toilet and make it seem like an accident.

I’d like to believe that we’re not just numbers plus minutes plus blood, but human issues glued together and dangerously alive; and like all great short stories, we sound familiar, but haven’t really happened any place or time before.

I’d like to have kids so they can remind me of all the things I used to know when I arrived into the world. And when my kids forget, I’d like grandchildren.

I’d like to be more than a word, a sentence or a paragraph. I’d like to be an entire chapter, or better yet, a novel. Be written in detail. Survive the darkness. Rephrase the light.

I’d like to think with no thoughts that the heart is its own country, in which I am allowed without a passport, or any kind of name.

And write with no fingers on that flickering life that passes as we write, incessantly, about how life is passing through our fingers.


If you, like me, have overplayed this song for the past ten years, now is not the time to stop.
And if you haven’t, close your eyes and… breathe?



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About Andrea Balt

Co-Founder / Editor in Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Creativity Curator at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Brains & Beauty + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her Monthly Stroke of Renaissance.


82 Responses to “Slow Down My Beaten Heart.”

  1. Suz Warren says:

    Beautiful article. Love this.

  2. Ben_Ralston says:

    Brilliant. Beautiful. Goosebumps.

  3. riverlarkmadison says:

    what is the song? your writing & this song ~ lovely! thank you ~ river ~

  4. Mayleine says:

    Goosebumps. Thank you!

  5. Bozhana says:

    I send to you all my gratitude for writing this! You know, when you know that a piece of writing is really really NICE? When it sounds like the pulse of your own thoughts! Well, you have accomplished this. I share. I like. I feel it. Your words are really liberating…….. 🙂

  6. maria says:

    oh My God , Andrea .. I just fell off the highest cliff .. its a miracle, falling like this, falling..

  7. This is so beautiful! I think I need to print it out and put it where I will see it often and be reminded…so many important and beautifully said truths here, Andrea!!! The heart is it's own country & clearly this comes right from yours.

  8. Andréa Balt says:

    Thank you so much for the kindest comment and sweetest commenters. We're all so much alike inside, after all. Vulnerable, exhausted and could always use more vitamin L (love). Sending you all my tired e-love.

  9. heeeeyyeaaaah says:

    beautiful! As someone who does not participate (I mostly just read) in online dialogue/social media, there are an awful lot of references about the computer in this. Get off the computer, leave your phone behind and GET OUTSIDE!!! 3 deep breaths. You'll feel better 🙂

  10. Becky says:

    Thank you Andrea for a beautiful article!

  11. Cindy says:

    Thank you so much, that was beautiful. You are a wonderful writer!

  12. Rebecca says:

    I'm printing this out to read daily as a meditation…… beautiful. thank you.

  13. Ashley says:

    Wow, thank you for this. The Yann Tiersen song is one of my all time favorites. The perfect music to think about life and how we are living it.

  14. Erica says:

    LOVE this beautiful article…thanks so much for posting!!! Id like.. to follow in your footsteps..

  15. LAFinfinger says:

    This is beautiful and brilliant and thank you for writing this.

  16. bea says:

    So why don't you?

  17. Micah says:

    Nice… It's a matter of time that you get what you desire… Stay Alive!

    • Andréa Balt says:

      WOW. It's funny that you'd say that. "Stay Alive" is the code I used with my ex when things got tough. (A bit cheesy, but we borrowed it from the "Last Mohican", you know, when they're standing behind the waterfall and he has to go but… "Stay alive! No matter what, I will find you!").

      Wait, are you him?

  18. John_Dalton says:

    Great bit of writing Andréa, well done. I shared it on my Maya Noise Facebook page.

  19. Vero Barnes says:

    Beautiful. Calming. I am breathing again…

  20. Daiva says:

    printed, shared…thank you!!!

  21. David says:

    “Sounds like she needs to make some changes in her life but doesn’t quite know where to start. She seems locked within the system, looking for depth. Poor thing. All one has to do is choose not to align with what doesn’t serve them. She seems afraid of what other people might think–like she doesn’t have a choice to be herself. I hope I’m wrong.

    Thanks for sending it. It’s always interesting to read between the lines other people write. I’d recommend her Joseph Campbell’s, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Perhaps she already has read it.”

    • Andréa Balt says:

      No need to be condescending David. Life is not perfect and this is poetry. Apparently you're not reading between the lines but above them. It's good to know you've got it all figured out, though. I don't.

      Thank you for the advice. She loves Joseph Campbell. I'll let "her" know.

  22. Helene Rose says:

    Thank you for sharing your appreciation of LIFE! Beautiful!

  23. … you speak so beautifully of this yearning, this deep and wanton longing to be lost, forever, in a silken heartbeat, to drown in the niagara of this, to be found, remembered and knowingly forgotten, to roar quietly into the ocean and to whisper passionately at the sky … thank you for touching me, here, where i am … xxx

    • Andréa Balt says:

      Thank you, Cameron. You know what's even more beautiful? Beauty always multiplying itself. Inspiration never goes just one way. You put your little grain of sand and soon it turns into a beach. Poetry would never be poetry without the person at the other end of the screen/paper. Thank you for inspiring me in return.

  24. LOVE your gorgeous poem!!!! xoxoxox

  25. […] cell and save my emotional creature, I tried to give her some rhyme this time. There’s a poem (there’s always a poem!) that’s been following me for almost a […]

  26. […] And when the night comes, we are not afraid. We don’t need muscles to survive, we have our words. We don’t need lamps, because to pass the womanhood exam you have to memorize the […]

  27. […] wish you a heart that aches from stretching in undiscovered […]

  28. […] digital world and yet only breathe in the analog, with one hard-drive made out of steel and another out of flesh? Moreover, can we not just survive but be fully and contagiously […]

  29. […] is time to reconnect our body and soul. It’s time to slow down our modern, crazy and hurried lifestyles. It’s time to undo; time to take the […]

  30. […] Your heartbeat is strong enough to project blood over 30 […]

  31. […] a relic now, the accordion is still a meeting place for bohemians, wanderers and tired travelers. It’s the instrument most of us romantics play without knowing, at the exact minute when the sun […]

  32. Dawn Broadwell says:

    Beautiful, raw, real….life unscripted. Inspiring. Keep living, keep writing, keep the consciousness flowing. Thank you.

  33. […] hurry up heart and repeat with me. Let’s memorize these lines before they send the […]

  34. […] cat just returned. And say today felt like a Saturday and we could take a break from all the spinning & losing & winning. And wake up with nothing else to do but stay home under blankets, eat green fast food & light […]

  35. nathan says:

    i was listening to this song JUST YESTERDAY! You introduced me to it, & i'll always love you for that. Oh, you are my favorite writer by far today. 😉 You bring me to that introspective place in the best of ways… one that stays a surprise. (i LOVE surprises)

  36. Candy says:

    Very beautiful. Big thank you for sharing.

  37. Mamaste says:

    My heart is cracking a little more…LOVE! xoxo ~Mamaste

  38. Eveline Batres says:

    I have only taken 8 out of the 30 capsilex tablets and have had very bad side effects of integestion and burning in my chest and throat and have been itching all over my body. I have never suffered from any of the above before and cannot stress the amount of pain I have been in, I think that they have burnt all of my insides.Has anyone else had any simular side effects?

  39. […] century, postmodern ADD, it doesn’t seem like I’m listening… but deep down, my tired heart is taking notes. (Via […]

  40. sara says:

    Love, love, love.

  41. Susan S says:

    Beautiful, thank you for writing it. Just heart-fillingly beautiful.

  42. karlsaliter says:

    This piece is a mountain and the stream flowing down it, too. You've cracked something open with this longing. Colin Wilson said that sometimes when we are within sight of a river, we experience a longing that no amount of drinking, bare-foot submersion, or swimming will satisfy. He was right. Your work here gave me something of that this morning.

    It isn't that grasping, tired, yukky, why-don't-I-have-an-iphone desire. It is knowing what we all day try not to know. A gnawing to which we too often desensitize. It is intuiting the absence of intangibles. Open eyes, clouds passing in front of stars, all of it.

    • Andréa Balt says:

      It's the fountain. But we don't know what the fountain is. Or how to drink out of it. Though sometimes we get splashed, others even wet and only occasionally drown in it for five minutes and thirty-six seconds. That's when it happens. "Open eyes, clouds passing in front of stars, all of it."

      We should go inside now and put some dry clothes on.

  43. Tracy says:

    Achingly beautiful! Love it! All of it!
    A few of favorite quotes:
    "I’d like to sit still until all fear starves itself and silence is ok; breathe deeply in some universal chest like a healthy organ. And then be born and curious about the world again, pointing at things with chubby fingers, because they are so fresh and new, they haven’t been named yet."
    "I’d like to yogalize my poses, buddhalize my prayers, jesusize my love and hindulize my smile."
    "I’d like to finish all the books I start. Review the universal story through every pair of glasses. And after all is said and done, be even more certain that I know nothing yet."

  44. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    This is so gorgeous. I'm grateful to know your ass. xoxoxo

  45. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Love times one million.

  46. Orin says:

    Id like to hear all these thoughts whispered in my ear each night when the fear arises and I’m most in need of remembering this is what truly matters.

    Beautiful evocative piece, I could feel each line.

  47. […] off the items on your How to Be Alive list. This is perhaps the most reliable way to resurrect a beaten heart and how inspiration repossesses your […]

  48. Lauren C says:

    Oh to speak in complete sentences…my heart needed to read this, it's been looking for a cool-down for some time now.

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