photo taken by wandering tourist on March 6, 2014
"The human heart is vast enough
to contain all the world."
~ Joseph Conrad ~
“Each friend represents a world in us,
a world possibly not born until they arrive,
and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
~ Anaïs Nin ~
The Diary of Anaïs Nin
Vol. 1: 1931-1934
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
Thanks for all the Worlds!
My multi-talented friend Tammy Sandel mentioned something recently that I knew would make the perfect blog post for Valentine's Day. She told the story of her son Austin asking her, "Mom, why are we always talking about our heart? How can your heart feel anyway?"
His questions brought to mind a couple of Tammy's own poems, filled with visceral images of pumping, bleeding hearts at work. In the first poem, the vivid -- i.e., filled with life! -- motif of red thread, red note and red word connects the reader to the poet's creative energy. The opening lines run like this [emphasis added]:
A blood red thread runs through the chapters of my life, stitching them together, feeding the future from the past like an artery.
Some of my chapter titles are the names of men. Of boys. Of my boys. Of animal friends. Some are titled with women's names, those women who invited me into the intimacy of birthing their child.
And some chapters are simply Moments. . . .
Zoom Hover Reverse.**
Alternate realities put me in the center of a Venn diagram. The intersecting circles pen me in with iridescent wings.
Living labile demands strength. Trying to notice and feel and say every thing to every one you love? Zoom.
Wishing, dreaming, imagining is exhilarating. And time consuming. Hover.
Second guessing, guilt, and regrets exhaust. Reverse.
Do you see that I feed you with the meat of my racing heart?
It's the only way I know how to be. . . .
[*See "Comments" below for the complete text of both poems]
The conversation between Tammy and her son continued with an exploration of mystery, and how older cultures attributed emotion to other organs. Then they spent a day substituting the word liver for heart. For example, "I feel it in my liver." "He's got great liver." " I love you with all my liver."
Ever ready with a sly joke or an unexpected pun, Tammy provided an excellent literary connection, observing that "Maya Angelou said:
And Gerry, my clever husband, contributed: "Well I was born in Liverpool, need I say more?"
I was reminded of those good old gutsy expressions of disgust that capture some of the emotions we feel in our gut. For example:
1. When something is so annoying thatAnother charming connection that came to mind was the time back in Philadelphia when Ben and Sam (around ages 10 & 7 at the time) were playing out on our side street with some neighborkids, and one little girl named Daisy took an accidental blow to the tummy. She got the wind knocked out of her but didn't really have the medical knowledge to explain her pain. Instead, she came running up to me and Gerry and said, "I think my heart just got broken." To this day, we still repeat little Daisy's phrase whenever we can't quite figure out where the hurt is coming from!
it really "sticks in my craw."
2. When something is so distateful that
I feel my gorge rise."
As a closing artistic connection, how about this lovely Valentine that I received from my wise and wonderful friend Nancy T. I like the way that the pink landscape, if you glance just right, resembles an organic human heart, rather than two trees and a clump of floral earth! Do you see it?
by Renee Locks, 1997
SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
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