Heart Thread by Robert Kelly
Price: $12.00pp 163
Design by Render Stetson
Through the tumult of our names, months, seasons, runs the line of the heart.
The cordial, the central, the nerve that springs us into thinking, moving,
speaking. Body, Speech, Mind –– what else have we? The heart is the thread that
links them together, the theme that runs through all the voices and variations
of our fugue, our flight, our flight from Eden, from dependency, from
servitude, towards freedom of mind and action. Towards being.
I learned the name of the poem slowly, after hearing at Bard a performance of
Lou Harrison’s choral setting of the heart sutra, the radical Buddhist text
that speaks to the primacy of mind. It made me think of the way Buddhists point
to the heart to mean the mind. Sutra means thread, and that was my
instruction, suddenly focused as I listened one afternoon to George Quasha’s
Axial Music ensemble in Barrytown, and I knew the name of the thread that held
me, that I held. Robert