Have you ever thought what our hearts are made up of?
Have you ever tried to look into it and see if it has parts or if it’s a whole?
Have you ever thought what keeps it going?
When the word ‘heart’ comes into my mind, I can’t help but feel this tinge in my chest, this tinge that informs me of its presence. I don’t have an exact word to tell you what it is but it’s this funny, fuzzy feeling as if something is fluttering inside me and is ready to come into my throat. I thought of words for this sensation and more than this, I tried to think of what is in it that is fluttering to get out yet I keep it in by taking a deep breath. What is it that swells with joy, and spills with fear? What is it that calms down with patience, and splashes like a storm with panic?
Unable to make any meaning, I look at different hearts to find them a label. I look at a mother’s heart and in it I see fear, there are fears and doubts about her children’s healthy growth, she has concerns for their safety, she has worries for their exam, their job, their marriage, their smile; there is a dash of pain attached to all these concerns, a pain that you can see in her eyes even when she smiles and beams over her child, and a prayer on her lips to never ever experience this pain.
I look at a father’s heart and I see this fabric of strength held by concerns for the fulfillment of the needs of his children, their education, their wellbeing, their success. He guards the frowns on his forehead with a smile on his lips. And you know what I see in the frown, it’s an effort to escape any and every possible pain.
I look at a lover’s heart and here Shakespeare saves me the effort through his sonnet;
In faith I do not love thee with my eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But ‘tis my heart that loves what they despise,
Who, in despite of view, is pleased to dote.
Nor are mine ears with thy tongue’s tune delighted;
Nor tender feeling, to base touches prone,
Nor taste, nor smell, desire to be invited
To any sensual feast with thee alone:
But my five wits nor my five senses can
Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee,
Who leaves unswayed the likeness of a man,
Thy proud heart’s slave and vassal wretch to be:
Only my plague thus far I count my gain,
That she that makes me sin awards me pain
(Shakespeare Sonnet 141)
I found pain in every heart. It seems that as we grow up there are these bits and pieces of pain that come together and form our heart. This swelling, this fluttering, and this tearing are all different moods of pain, it comes and goes as the environment stimulates it. And much of our love arises out of this effort to quell this pain. We hold all these bits of pain together with love and kindness to protect us and others from hurt. A human heart gives me this imagery of maple tree, it has this continuous growth over the years with leaves growing, turning colors, the shedding off its bark, the seeds, and eventually the leaves and then the re-growth and through all this transformation the bark keeps on growing stronger and tougher……human heart seems the same to me, it is constantly transforming, tearing and eventually held together by the warmth of love and care, and strengthened so that it can nourish those around it. The more pain you would find in a heart the more love and kindness it is bound to impart to those around them, i guess this is how and where the humanity is born from…