When Your Heartstrings Finally Break

When your heartstrings finally break, there will be no noise, no twang, no sigh of release. The sound will be felt, not heard. It will rend the last of what it means to be whole, reduce the noun to a broken plural – shards too sharp to pluck from the tiles.

When your heartstrings finally break, it won’t be from pressure, or stress, but from the corrosion of neglect. Locked away for so long, kept from sight and plucking hands, they will rust and rot away – fall to dust in the shadowed corners of decay.

When your heartstrings finally break, there will be no fixing what has been rent. The ends will not be drawn together, and the heart cannot be restrung. It is an instrument of personal measures and will never be reformed. To lose your song is to lose yourself. There will be no solace, no joy, no refuge from despair. With no barrier of song, the sorrow of the world will invade and take nest, breed in the rusted shadows and drown all magic.

When your heartstrings finally break, you will realize, too late, that the only way to keep an instrument strong is to play it. The only way to keep it in tune is to practice. The only way to make the strings gleam is to let every small wonder dance amongst the chords. The only way to keep it whole is to keep it singular and believe in the magic it creates.

When your heartstrings finally break, it will be too late for anything but goodbye.

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When Your Heartstrings Finally Break by 

Another friend died on Saturday – killed while driving home drunk on a bike. That makes three this year alone, violent, untimely, and self induced. One suicide, and two intentional accidents. Sad people, sad ends, broken hearts and broken dreams.


rust, love, death, heart, decay, song, neglect, heartstrings

Brad is. ’nuff said.

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  • KMorral
    KMorralover 5 years ago

    …Not quite sure what to say! Powerful, moving, very thought provoking. Great writing, sorry to hear what seems to have prompted it.

  • There are always prompts, not all of them expected or positive. Thank you for reading.

    – Brad MacDuff

  • VelvetGirl
    VelvetGirlover 5 years ago

    very moving writing. x

  • Thank you.

    – Brad MacDuff

  • lianne
    lianneover 5 years ago

    To say that I KNOW this feeling Brad is to seem presumptuous but I feel as if I DO know it, and you have expressed here the same malaise of spirit, of realism, of truth that I have wrestled with for some time now. But you have written it with such power, such haunting and evocative phrasing that it has moved right into my soul. And yet – there is that one paragraph of hope – the only way to keep an instrument strong is to play it. Play it Brad – the strings are but loose and neglected perhaps but surely not broken just yet.

  • I thought you might be able to relate to this Lianne. I’m sure you also know that the only way to make the strings truly sing is to have them played by another. I hope this day finds you smiling and singing, simply because you can.

    – Brad MacDuff

  • Alix Purcell
    Alix Purcellover 5 years ago

    Brad – I’m so sorry that you were driven to a place to write this, but I’m sure it its own way writing this piece helped you grieve. It’s a beautiful take on such a sad subject. Thank you for writing it and putting words to what seems inexplicable at times!


  • I wrote a reply… it was long… it was happy (borderline gushing) in response. I am cutting and pasting this one, as the last three have vanished into the elsewhere. If this one makes it. please excuse my tardiness, I can only blame technology… Suddenly I wish this was a handwritten letter.

    – Brad MacDuff

  • cougarfan
    cougarfanabout 5 years ago

  • Thank you so much. I’d all but forgotten the words in this story, and suddenly I miss them.

    – Brad MacDuff

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