Good evening Travellers,
It’s Sunday eve, but this week I’m going to deviate from my usual offering of something splendid to just say a few things, I hope you won’t mind…let’s assume for arguments sake, that you won’t…
I’d like to take a few moments of appreciation here… just a few…
For the miraculous machine that dwells within us all
The thing that started to beat long before your lungs knew what air was
Long before your tongue found words or tastes or teeth
Or your eyes and ears were filled with the innumerable sensations that we take for granted each day
Or your tiny fingers and toes touched this Earth.
It’s a great word, right? Heart…I mean just say it out loud, your heart, my heart…
It’s a word that sounds like it’s loved, it’s got a gentle smile on it and a deeply resonating warmth.
It sounds tender. Like it wants to be deeply held.
I’m talking about the literal thing right now. That sinewy, blood filled muscle of an organ.
At one time, it was so tiny, you might even say miniscule. Beating inside your mom’s belly.
Smaller than the tip of your thumb. And now it’s the size of your fist.
Your heart that beats without fail every single second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade of your mortal life.
Have you ever taken a moment in absolute stillness and placed your hands on that pulsing and just felt it.
When you lie in bed tonight or perhaps when you awake in the morning, just take a moment and place your palms on your chest till you locate it and feel it.
The rhythm that is all yours, just yours.
That’s your life, right there, under your hands. Nestled in your chest.
It’s an odd looking organ, isn’t it? Hard to believe that thing, a thing that looks like it does is driving you forward.
Obviously in symphony with your brain and lungs and blood, but it’s the thing that is pumping life through your body
And when it ceases to do that, we are pronounced dead.
When I think about reasons to live well, I often think of my heart. And wanting to care for it.
Because I think about it’s location in the human body. It’s surrounded and protected by skin, muscle and bone.
Cradled in the center of our chest, in a place it can be defended and protected.
It’s as if it’s anatomical location shows us that it is precious.
It is worthy of your utmost care…
We often talk about heart break. We deeply hurt and say we are heart broken.
Of course this is figurative right?
A metaphor perhaps.
I have often said that Dave broke my heart and then his suicide smashed it into a million pieces, but that’s not entirely true, as my heart continues to beat ever so faithfully in my chest. Right now, as I type…there is no hesitation.
Someone hurt my heart recently from disappointment, but my organ itself feels fine, it’s somewhere else in my body…
Can you really die from heart break? Do our emotions break the muscles or the valves or the stymie the blood flow?
Why did we decide to call it heart break?
Who was the first person that used that phrase?
Doesn’t emotion come from the brain and nervous system? Or perhaps the soul if you are into that sort of thing.
Why don’t we call it brain break? Or say our nerves are deeply uncomfortable? Or say we are emotionally sick.
Just think if there was no such phrase as heart break.
There would be no Shakespeare, or songs, or movies or hell, just all kinds of things would require an entirely different vernacular.
Perhaps the heart is the great hall monitor of our human body. Slowing the blood down, or speeding it up. Trying to keep us in line where we belong.
It doesn’t seem to be breakable, but yet we believe it is…
And we all take it for granted too, don’t we? This life, our heart.
Because it is in fact your one ever present diligent companion.
Someone close to me has heart problems. He’s 85 and has both a defibrillator and a pace maker. He’s now taking medicine to help strengthen the muscles because they are beginning to get tired. As one expects to happen eventually.
I was thinking at their house the other night, or rather marveling how far that heart has travelled. How many beats it has drummed out in his lifetime, how many times his wife more than likely listened to it with her ear on his chest in their youth, and the fact that he made four other hearts in his children that will beat after he is gone.
It’s the kind of thing to marvel at and just think about for a few minutes…
This life is a marvel, just in case you have forgotten…it’s right there in your chest.