“Take Your Broken Heart….


broken heart iron on patch
Broken Heart Iron-on Patch by lizmiera

… make it into art.”

(Carrie Fisher via Meryl Streep, January, 2017.)

There is so much just plain wrong in my world right now. The bulk of it is not within my power to change in the slightest. It all just weighs and weighs and keeps weighing. My sole choice is to let my heart break wide open and keep on. How, oh how?

One clue: My favorite Winnie-the-Pooh character is Eeyore. He is unabashedly gloomy. “Good Morning Eeyore! How are you?”… “Not very how.”  Grumble as he might about slights, intrusions, or the weather, I sense his belonging, his secret smile, his rightness. It is possible to be a satisfied curmudgeon.

Another clue: A favorite quote of mine seemed at first an utter mystery and now shines as an anthem. Beverly Sills said, “I’m not a happy woman, I am a cheerful one. A happy woman is one who has no cares at all; a cheerful woman is one who has cares but doesn’t let them get her down.” It is possible to have joy in the briarpatch.

While I might have used it for temporary diversion, I have never much turned to my art practice for true solace. Art-making is hard enough for me with no ripples in the creative jetstream, let alone a couple of tempests at the doorstep. And I swear clay remembers everything, especially ham-handed distraction.

Yet I see now that I have had that thing all wrong. Just days ago I thought that art-making was ideally supposed to be the blissful surcease of reality’s sorrows. The moment out of time. The balm for my sensitive soul.

It is not. The truth is, I can neither escape from nor fix my broken heart with my art-making. And I should give up on surcease and balm.

To me, Carrie Fisher’s words mean this: that my undeniably unfixable wrenched-open heart is both the means and the material for the truest art I’ve got in me.

–Liz Crain, clearly lost in the weeds, has been busy in the studio painting it all black. She also bought one of those iron-on broken heart patches.



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9 thoughts on ““Take Your Broken Heart….

  1. Clay is like my dog…always happy to see me.

    1. What a wonderful way to think about it…gonna pin this up in my studio!

  2. Liz,
    The issues confronting our humanity and our little earth are simply overwhelming and unfathomable to any sensitive alert and caring being. And adding to the overwhelm are the every day issues of our personal lives. While we each feel the pains in different ways and in our own special ways, know that while you sit with your broken heart, you are not alone. This isn’t necessarily a message that can or is trying to make you feel better, but it a message to know you are being understood- completely.

    1. Ahhh, Marianne, I love this. Understanding alone works so well. Empathy and not Sympathy. I have more empathy than ever myself. We are not alone and that is why i felt safe to write this, too. Thank you.

  3. Yep, James, my worries are of global doom, national destruction, extended family dramas and lack of sleep. My hands are chapped from wringing and my sole/soul choice is just the heartful one. I take more comfort than you might guess in the art of others around me: that grappling hook in your “What’s Next” painting might be my new personal icon. Thank you.

  4. You said it sistah!

    1. Love you Elaine. I know full well you understand this. <3

  5. Liz – I think you have described most of the Nation in this time of uncertainty. And I love your line, “My sole choice is to let my heart break wide open and keep on.” Of course, I read “soul choice” – works both ways. Let your true feelings flow and your art will follow course. Big Hug, James Aschbacher

    1. Hi James, somehow my reply to you got posted as another comment…hope you can see it now that you know where to look!

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