What’s the Dylan line? “I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul?”
I know I had a heart and I’m pretty sure I had a soul before I had Clara. I feel my heart all the time; for example, when Aaron said that on Valentine’s Day, a nine-year-old student made a broken heart out of red construction paper and wrote “my heart broke when my dad died” and his friend wrote on his red broken heart, “my heart broke when my best friend’s dad died,” my heart moved. On the lazy nights when Aaron and I would do nothing but talk and eat red meat and not smash peas with our fingers and say, “No, Dakota, don’t jump on Clara’s high chair,” my heart softened. But, the soul is somewhere else entirely and I don’t always know it’s there since it doesn’t often move or soften or flutter or pulse or pump blood.
There are nights in the kitchen. I’m chopping carrots, maybe, or measuring chicken broth. Aaron is mocking, humorously, the moment I told him in exasperation, “Try rocking her and saying ‘coo’!” by bouncing Clara playfully and sing-songing “Coooo! Coooo! Coooo!” like a robin in a boy band. Time stops. It really does, and I am pulled by something like peace into a perfect moment. I think it’s my soul.
I don’t remember what the movie Jerry McGuire was about–maybe money?, but, like everyone else who graduated high school in the late nineties, I remember the line “you complete me.” Better than being completed, however, is being started over. In moments of happiness, the heart feels complete, and the soul feels anew.
Here’s me and my little soul-monkey: