A Decade Ago My Brain and Heart Divorced – John Roedel

John Roedel has written a beautiful poem. Using anatomy, he threads words fluidly and meaningfully into memorable poetry. Caregiver, read Roedel’s lines slowly. Visualize them. Digest them. They will touch you like few others.

most nights, I sneak out of the
window in my ribcage

and slide down my spine
and collapse on my
gut’s plush leather chair…

Let us remember that no matter how composed we appear on the outside, each of us is dealing with something in life. A challenge. A joy. A disappointment. The inspiration for this poem and many more arose through Roedel’s 2015 struggle with his faith, his depression, and his son’s autism diagnosed in 2003.

“I just can’t live with
my mistakes of the past
or my anxiety about the future,”

my gut [Roedel’s unofficial therapist] smiled and said:

“in that case,
you should
go stay with your
lungs for a while,”

To survive… to thrive… we try to navigate our own unique and uncharted journeys as we overcome obstacles. Life is challenging. Let us view one another with greater understanding and grant each other greater compassion. A grouchy person today might be stuck in a battle between their brain and heart.

Roedel wrote this poem while having a panic attack in a coffeehouse waiting to pick up his wife from work. Within the week, he writes, “I’ve received so many wonderful messages from lovely strangers… who have been impacted by what I wrote.”

I packed a little
bag and walked
to the door of
my lungs

before I could even knock
she opened the door
with a smile and as
a gust of air embraced me
she said

“what took you so long?”

The URL to John Roedel’s complete (and untitled) poem is available by clicking on the title below.

A Decade Ago, My Brain and Heart Divorced*

Excerpts of John Roedel’s poem, above and below.

my brain and
heart divorced

a decade ago

… I didn’t know
if I could live with
either of them anymore

“my heart is always sad about
something that happened yesterday
while my head is always worried
about something that may happen tomorrow,”

your lungs are the perfect place for you

there is no yesterday in your lungs
there is no tomorrow there either

there is only now
there is only inhale
there is only exhale
there is only this moment

John Roedel Image and Poem posted on Facebook

Now, breathe. Feel inspired and uplifted.

You can do this! You can navigate LIFE.

Hey God. Hey John. book cover by John RoedelCheck out John’s book, Hey God. Hey John.: What Happens When God Writes Back


*The Caregiver’s Voice added a title to Roedel’s originally untitled poem.

The post A Decade Ago My Brain and Heart Divorced – John Roedel first appeared on The Caregivers Voice.

Back To Blog