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  • Writer's pictureAli

Bring Your Live Heart

Updated: May 5, 2019

Amy brought this Rumi poem to my attention this week:

Bring a hundred sacks of gold and God will say, "Bring the heart."

And if you bring a dead heart carried like a coffin on your shoulder, God will say, "O Cheat! Is this a graveyard? Bring the live heart! Bring the live heart!"

If you haven't any knowledge and opinions,

have good opinions about God. This is the way.

If you can only crawl, crawl to Him.

If you can not pray sincerely, offer your dry, hypocritical, agnostic prayer

for God in His mercy accepts bad coin.

If you have a hundred doubts of God,

make them into 90 doubts. This is the way.

O, Seeker! Though you have broken your vows a hundred times, Come again, Come again!

For God has said, "Though you are on high or in the pit consider me, for I am the Way."

When I received this poem, I was carrying a dead heart on my shoulders. Two and a half weeks into a serious cancer diagnosis has left me staggering. Daylight is great. I can find my way, sometimes gracefully, even with a bit of courage. When evening hits, all the personal demons come out to play. We are making room for all of this.

George and I are in an alternative treatment center in Florida for three weeks before we meet with Oncologists back home. I get sick to my stomach imagining what is ahead, but here I am spreading all of this out so I can see it, feel it, and find myself back into this body that is doing something I don't fully understand.

I plan to write here, now and then, so that I can stay in touch. So many of you have been in touch with me and I feel really loved, and I am overwhelmed with unpacking this experience so that I cant keep up with responding. This makes it easier to feel like we are all having a conversation. For now, thank you for signing in and listening. I love each of you.


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Hi Ali! We haven't heard from you since you went to Dana Farber. I hope you are at peace with whatever treatment path you have decided upon and that it will soon be effective in eliminating or reducing the cancer cells in your body. On this beautiful sunny, but chilly morning in Breckenridge, I "lift my eyes to the mountain" and pray that the God of hope is filling every fiber of your being with life and strength! Sending you much love! Sheila

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Caroline Miller
Caroline Miller
07 oct 2018

Hi Ali, I sit here thinking how much you mean to me and our church at St George's. Your smile, wisdom, and love make you very special in our lives. I pray God surrounds you with his light, love and healing to make you better very soon. May your journey bring you back to us very soon.....Love, Patty

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Dearest Ali, Thank you for sharing your journey! Thank you for the courage to be real... to be honest about being scared, yet feeling love, wonder, fear and betrayal. I love and admire you so much! May God give you wisdom and serenity to listen, make the best choices and then find the grace that each moment holds! 🙏🏼

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17 sept 2018

Hi Ali ( and please tell George hello, too),

I love you both. I don’t understand this—your diagnosis— but we must live on each day, boldly and with our faces lifted to the sun. My CA 125 count is creeping up but my scan last week was clear. I may be in an early recurrence. I retest in four weeks. So we are now fighting side by side. I’m questioning whether I should be working at all, though I feel great. I just need a nap in the afternoon every day. I hope to see you when you get back to Colorado. This is tearing at my heart. Semding you so much light and goodness, dear, sweet Ali.

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Robin Dunn
Robin Dunn
17 sept 2018

Hey, Ali; We've been harvesting this weekend: apples, beets (really, just thinning the beets, hoping for another month of good weather), potatoes, and garlic. You would love the abundance; the big fat worms turned up with the soil around the potatoes; the color of royal purple dying my fingers as I peel the beets; the clear smell of garlic as we cut the globes open with fingernails (to make sure we didn't accidentally "harvest" a daffodil bulb). The apples are honeycrisp variety, and they taste better than any apple I've ever bought at the store. Tonight, imagine yourself in our back yard, filling up with the abundance of green, of towering sunflowers, of clear bird song. Love you, friend.

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