“So is it your brain or your heart telling you to find a cave?” Pavel asked.

“I’d say intuition. Or, last resort.”

“Resort.” Pavel chuckled. “Are you sure there are no other resorts?”

“Like what?”

“Like a house with a husband and children.”

“I have given up on that.”

“Why? You’re young enough.”

“Because my heart is broken. How can one give someone else a broken heart? The function of a heart is to give itself. A broken one can’t.”

“Perhaps love can heal it.”

“I think that some hearts are permanently damaged. Like some bodies are. Not everything can be healed in this life.”

“Surely broken hearts aren’t like crippled limbs. Hearts are what join two people. If two people can live together, they can love each other and hold each other. Isn’t that enough?”

“Their bodies and minds can, but the broken heart remains disconnected.”

“Maybe the heart is more connected than it seems.”

“What good is a subconscious connection?”

“So you’re saying the mind has to be aware of the connection?”

“Or the heart to feel it. I don’t know where the awareness occurs.”

“Has your heart never felt the connection?”

“It has a few times, but each time it doesn’t work out, the heart gets more and more divided. First love is whole hearted, then the heart breaks in two, and second love is half hearted, and so forth. Finally, all one has is a bunch of pebbles for a heart.”

“Maybe they can be sown together like rabbit pelts.”

“Maybe so. But a pieced together heart is like a quilt. It tells many stories, not the one a man wants to hear. A smart heart doesn’t let this happen to itself.”

“A foolish heart is less careful. But this carelessness seems generous.”

“Until it wises up. Until it quits giving itself away. Until it loses faith in what it imagined it wanted in the first place.”

“If it truly lost faith, then it wouldn’t mind its body and mind getting married. If it gave up on the possibility of happiness, what is it holding out for?”

Elena drew up short. “I think ‘happiness’ is the wrong word. ‘Connection’. You have a point. I think a broken, disillusioned heart should try connection to God instead.”