“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” - Plato
Such an unlikely force, all ventricles and atriums and vena cava and aorta in its bloody, thumping glory.
For centuries we’ve romanticized it, this mass of muscle that stands between life and death, the here and the hereafter. We’re obsessed with the power it holds over us, physical and emotional. We embrace the rapture and the intimacy – we fear the crippling pain.
But for all the pain it can bring, at the very heart of the matter is this: our desire to love and be loved.
To see someone’s eyes warm with you in them. To feel a heartbeat quicken. To cause and be the cause of gentle laughter. To know that when the tears come someone will catch them before they fall. To fall asleep holding hands.
It is a human truth that we hurt the ones we love the most and I have hovered on the brink for weeks, struggling to remind myself that the fault is not theirs. Too many worries weigh on me and I count the resolution of each as one step nearer to closing the doors that stand open, cutting the cords that tie me down and lifting the anchors that pull me beneath the surface.
I can hear my own heartbeat rising.
The weeks ahead are causing me heartburn, a reliving of the pain that crippled me for so long and that I have fought so hard to come back from. I have endured it, embraced it and drawn strength from it. But before I relive the past, my heart will be tested and I am as afraid of what they might find as what they won’t.
They’ll see the ventricles and atriums and vena cava and aorta and the valves flapping open and closed in their fluttery dance. They’ll trace the flow of my life’s blood in vivid blues and reds. They’ll measure the muscle and they’ll count the beats. They’ll look at all of the numbers and the scans and tell me if I am strong of heart.
They won't see the heartbeat within.