Heart

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.

Your heart.

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.

OLD

Ciao Travellers,

We have finally arrived at the weekend.

Personally, I feel like I have conquered a serious week of too much. Too much at work and too much to take care of in my personal space. Too much for my body. I don’t feel that very often.

But what’s most important is that I have arrived here.

One week older…YOU are in fact one week older now.

Do you ever think about it? Getting older that is?

How do you feel about it? And where did you learn how to feel about it?

Are you allowing others to determine how you fell about that?

When I was teaching hot power yoga, I had a couple of women in class tell me that when I reached my 40s I was going to spontaneously begin to love wine AND gain weight. I was in my mid-30s at the time and I thought what a horrible thing to say to a younger woman. What kind of sisterhood is this? And maybe their experience wasn’t going to be mine, so WTF??

Safe to say, 40 came and went and yea, not only did I never acquire a taste for wildly consuming wine, I have not had any change in body composition. In fact, I’m on the flip side of my mid-40s, and yea, still going strong. I actually got fitter last year, because I started doing more weight training.

And that’s not meant as a brag, but rather a message to all the women out there who are younger than me, age isn’t something to give up to, but rather a realization that it’s same same. We all have been aging since our first breath in this world. It’s just that we have all these mile markers in youth that make it a celebration of accomplishments and then in your late 20s, that tends to die down.

The question is WHY?

Why do we want to spend the rest of our lives, which by the way is equal at least to the length of time that you have already been here, being miserable about something we cannot control?

Since I have been in my current professional occupation, I have had the privilege of learning where the boundary of “OLD” really lies and let me tell you, it’s a helluva long ways a way from 30, 40, 50, 60, 70s even.

There is something that happens to us around 85 where it appears our bodies make some kind of invisible choice to either continue to thrive or start shutting it down. I could speculate as to why, but there appear to be way too many variables to point the finger at a particular guilty party. I feel 85 is a good age where you may refer to yourself as old. If you feel the need…

What I can say with some certainty is this: AGE IS THE ACCUMAULTION OF YOUR LIFE CHOICES. NOT A NUMBER.

Read that 5 times.

The choices you make have repercussions both positive and negative.

Aging is essentially the product of your math.

Yea, it’s a theory. Yes, another one. They’re just gonna keep coming, so you should get used to it….

Life is really all about bad or good math. Choices we make involving bad bets on the percentages, not adding up things correctly or forgetting to subtract debts in all the aspects of our life. And we will all do a lot of bad math before we die.

Fun example: Squirrels, not dumb animals, but seriously the ones hit by cars, that’s bad math. They didn’t do the proper calculations on the speed of the vehicle, the distance they had to cross on that particular road and how fast they could run. Bad math.

Humans, SO MANY EXAMPLES of bad math. Just think about it.

The quality of your age has everything to do with your math skills.

Excessive drinking, social drug use, smoking, eating a lot of sugar, not moving, not sleeping well, not getting serious about your mental health, how you handle stress, your illnesses, overutilizing pharmaceuticals versus learning to be an advocate for yourself, not drinking enough water, all big subtraction. A deficit that you create in your body.

The reverse or opposite of ALL THOSE THINGS, are positives in your body.

Aging is your equation of those things and your ability to navigate them. Seek answers, be curious and learn about your body/your vehicle, be honest with yourself, and remember nothing is set in stone or predestined, you have the power to ALWAYS change course. You are in fact Dorothy who was always wearing those ridiculous shoes.

Aging is no more of an issue than you make it. I’m completely serious…

I have to also add a few words here that the reason I thought about this topic this morning was because I found myself tearing up at the kitchen sink thinking about Dave. I find that randomly happens…

THIS SONG came up on my Bose. (Yes, go listen to it. I’ll wait. It’s very important to hear this one.) A few days before his suicide, I had heard it again and found myself drawn to it. I kept listening to it and wondering if he had ever heard it. I thought about the fact that is seemed we were becoming friends finally after the divorce. After everything. I thought how grateful I was that I wouldn’t be in my singledom alone. I thought I should tell him both these things. I didn’t. And then he was gone.

Dave’s suicide made me feel old for the first time in my entire life. I think because I realized that for the rest of my life he wouldn’t be simultaneously alive with me on this Earth. And I realized how long I may have left here to live without him. He would never become an old man. He wouldn’t see how his story really ended. Or the ending I hoped he would have.

And for me this is a part of my equation now. I have to figure out how I can add enough positive into my life to take on that kind of subtraction. Because these emotions have a seriously huge number, but I’ve determined I can find an offset in the years to come. I believe he would want me to.

Rush

Buenos Noches Travellers,

I have to confess when I first started learning Spanish, I loved saying good evening because “Noches” was so similar in sound and spelling to “Nachos” it seemed funny to say “Good Nachos” to people…in fact it makes me giggle now…language is awesome…I love the sounds of other  languages as an American. I loved that about New York City, you could stand on any street corner and hear at least three languages.

How do we feel about quotes this late evening? Do you enjoy them and pin them in places for frequent contemplation? Maybe you are one of those people who feel that motivational phrases or quotes are of the devil? Because I know those people too, no judgement. Proceed with an open mind. And “Good Nachos” to you…

Continue reading “Rush”