Thursday, 14 January 2010

Love And Hearts....


As a celebration of the fact that I have just hit 100 followers (are you all mental?!), I’d like to get  all touchy-feely with you all now and have a little discussion about love and also the heart.

In order for this to feel right though, I’d like you all to take the hands of the reader each side of you, and then give them a good old squeeze.

There, doesn’t that feel nice?

Though the OCD side of me is hoping none of you have been to the toilet recently and not washed your hands.

That would be gross.

Now, love.

We silly humans adore linking the emotion of love with our hearts. Greeting cards, silly stuffed animals, balloons, posters, all display the wonderful feeling called love as a huge heart, probably with an arrow stuck through it.

This notion is engrained on our psyches. You think of love, you think of the heart. And yet out of all the parts of the body that actually get affected by love, the heart is realistically the least noticeable. Certainly when I met and fell for my girlfriend, it wasn't my heart that was noticing it, it was my legs, mainly because they wouldn’t stop shaking after I left her on our first date. But a pair of legs with an arrow going through them certainly wouldn’t sell that many Valentines cards. It would however make an ideal signpost in the Wild West to warn you that Indians were nearby, so, swings and roundabouts and all that.

Presumably the idea that the heart is linked to love is due to the fact that our hearts are meant to beat that little bit faster when the object of our affections is near. That may be true, but there are many things that make the heart beat that little bit faster. Running. Getting out of bed. Walking up the stairs. They don’t all mean that we are in love; they just mean we are unfit.

What about the stomach? That gets affected by being in love. You don’t eat because you don’t need food. You get butterflies when you know you are meeting this one person who means everything to you. When your affection is returned, and you know that this person wants to be with you as well, you suddenly feel like you are in an elevator shaft and dropping rapidly. A wonderful out of control sensation that feels amazing and that you notice most of all in the centre your stomach. So why isn’t that linked with love? Could it be because your lower intestinal tract isn’t really considered sexy? You wouldn’t really say “I love you from the bottom of my bowel.” would you?

And when love goes wrong, once again, the heart may feel it slightly, but there are other parts of your body that feel it worse. The back of your throat contracts as you swallow hot salty tears. Your eyes throb and your head hurts from the emotion. And yet again, it’s always the poor old stomach that bears the brunt of it though. That's where I think you feel love the most, through good times and bad, smack bang in the middle of your guts. And yet when we think of love gone bad, it’s nearly always the image of a heart, probably with a huge crack running through it.

So let’s take it as such that love=heart. And because of this, we all try to protect our hearts as much as possible, fearful of getting it broken, like it was some delicate porcelain figurine that would shatter at the slightest contact, rather than the tough mass of muscle that is so strong, if a human body were to be on fire, it would be the last thing to actually burn (I saw that on CSI).

So we cradle our hearts with tender care, trying to avoid all notion of it getting smashed. Those of us who have never been hurt in love won’t know this fear, and will dive into a relationship with all the vigour of someone jumping off the highest diving board at a swimming pool, making the biggest splash possible, while others who have been hurt in love, tenderly pick their way through a relationship like someone who is wearing skis trying to traverse a minefield, each careful step taken slowly, just in case it blows up in their faces.

* Man I do talk in metaphors a lot. I can’t help it. I seem to have one for everything.

Kate: Would you like a cup of tea?

Me: I would like a cup of tea so much that I’m like a man who is crawling through a desert using only his lips, looking for water that isn’t there.

Kate: You’re really weird.

Me: I’m so weird I’m like a two headed clown who keeps honking both his noses.

Kate: I’m leaving you now.

Me: I’m so being left; I’m like a man…….

Ah, you get the picture.*

And yet if I were to look at my own heart, what would I find there? I suppose it would be one that is slightly bruised from life's experiences, but one that is still hopeful for the future. I keep it at arm’s length from people, and if I’m honest, the person I am with now probably has more of a hold on it than anybody has ever had in my entire lifetime, but there is still that fear, that idea of it getting broken and smashed beyond repair, that will always make me feel that little bit cautious of handing it over fully, as tough and stubborn as it is.

My stomach is battered and useless and no good to anyone, but my heart? Well, let’s just say it’s still beating strong. And I intend to keep it that way.


22 comments:

JenJen said...

how very sweet and to be honest, it made me take pause.
I remember feeling some of those things when I met my husband.
Some fall off the radar after a dozen years....but a few remain.
Thanks for reminding me of them, Dan.

Allegria said...

Very thoughtful post, Dan. And how DID you get to 100 so dern fast? It's because you're a great read, that's why. I think, other than the Till Monkey series, I like this post the best. Thanks for sharing it.

That Gal Kiki said...

In the words of Bryan Ferry; Love Is The Drug.

Well said, my friend. Cyber hugs and kisses to you. xxxxxooooo

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Your metaphors completely capture the spirit of your words. (Wow, did that sentence sound like pure crap?) I loved this. Thank you for not saving this some trite day like Valentine's day.
I heart this!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Is this you being all slushy, Danny Boy? I feel I can't possibly leave a comment without being flippant so there you go.

Actually you summed it up pretty well I thought with the elevator metaphor and the tentativeness of entering a new relationship cautiously in case of heartbreak. Of course I'm much too hard and cynical to admit to first hand knowledge of any of those things. Cough.

This post was very sweet! Like a pink cake. I mean that despite the fact it sounds like it was dripping in sarcasm.

Eva Gallant said...

Nicely done. The one you are with is lucky to have such a sensitive mate.

aladdinsane12 said...

very interesting. i think i would prefer a pair of legs with an arrow through them. and i have decided i'm going to tell my boyfriend that i love him from the bottom of my bowels today. we'll see what happens.

Nikonda said...

Opening yourself up to a new relationship is such a scary thing to do - trust takes a while to build up and the potential for hurt during that time can't be ignored.

How wonderful when it works though! So wonderful that we live in hope and risk the bruises to our heart each time, which is exactly as it should be.

A beautifully written post.

Picture Imperfect said...

You're a great writer!

I agree with you that it's the stomach that always takes the hit. My heart is wrapped in bubble wrap so it's kind of numb these days. ;o)

You're a great writer! I found you through JenJen's site. I'm a new follower! :o)

P.T said...

I like this post. I never thought of other parts that get affected when we're in love.

Brilliant!

jules said...

Plus all that, hearts look pretty in pictures! I think your heart is totally in the right place.

Chloie said...

Great post!

Kim Ayres said...

100 followers in only a few months is damned impressive. I amassed about 40 after 4 years. It took the "blogs of note" thing to add another 850. So I feel a kind of guilt that I didn't build up the followers more naturally. People only love me because I'm popular. It's heartbreaking...

hope said...

My gut reaction [hey, can't let you do all that work and not show I paid attention] is that you have a large following because we love you from afar. If we loved you from a-near, Kates might get angry.

Since hubby has an archery shop, I prefer he just tell me of his undying love rather than shoot an arrow through my legs. But, as usual, you sum it up nicely. Well done, my friend.

staceyjwarner said...

Congrat on 100! YIPPPPEEEEE!

I love love, who doesn't.

Wondeful post, one to be cherished.

much love

Alice in Wonderland said...

I love you from the heart of my bottom...hummm, that just doesn't do anything for me!
You forgot to mention that your pupils also get enlarged and your heart beats faster too.
You write a great blog, Dan! Here's to the next 100!
Big hugs!

Kato said...

Found you via JenJen. You are hilarious my friend! I read your guest post on her blog and almost peed myself laughing!

Kato said...

Also, sorry for posting that one THIS post. I loved this one too, very honest and sweet :)

Lorenza said...

HI Dan that was a LOVEly post!
I am happy to be back and smile when I come visit you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

jinksy said...

Yes I'm mental, and yes, my mind is often vacant - do I qualify as a follower?

Dan said...

JenJen- It’s always good to take pause and think of the good things. Glad you liked it chum.

Allegria- It was my pleasure. I can sometimes write other things that are not of poor taste.......Sometimes.....

That Gal Kiki- But he also sang about sticking together, so best not to take him too literally at his word.

The mad woman behind the blog- And I absolutely bowl it that you have decided to stick around. Thank you for that and the kind comment also.

Veg Ninja- Beneath this cold and cynical exterior lays the heart of a cold and cynical person, who can occasionally write soppy stuff to remind everyone that he doesn't hate everything.

Eva- Other way round. Always.

aladdinsane12- I do hope you are being serious about that, and feel free to pop back and share his response.

Nikonda- And a beautifully written comment. Now I know where Matthew gets it from.

Picture Imperfect- Ah shush with the great writer thing (actually don't. Keep it coming!) Glad you have decided to stick around. Always lovely to see a new face. Good to meet you!

P.T.- It was something that was stuck in the back of my mind for ages, probably triggered by some shit Valentine’s day display. Glad you liked it mate.

Jules- Shame my brain isn't.

Chloie- Thank you Chloie. Are you fairly new around here as well? Really nice to have you over here.

Kim- I think it’s more to do with the writing Kim. Everyone needs a kick start. If we didn't like what you did, no one would keep coming back.

Hope- I like nothing more than basking in the love of the writing. And I think your husband would make an excellent Cupid. Plus he would never miss.

Staceyjwarner- All these new people to say hi to and also get to know. I'm liking this. Nice to meet you Stacey and many thanks for the kind comment.

Alice- Bugger, forgot about the pupils! And thank you for the congrats, one day I hope to emulate your numbers Alice.

Kato- Well I'm glad you found me and decided to stay. You will find my writing takes on two sides. Geniital based, and soppy stuff. An ideal combo, don't you think?

Lorenza- Hello stranger! Long time no hear. How are you? Good to have you back and a very Happy New year to you as well.

Jinksy- Of course you do! Always nice to welcome newcomers. Might be an idea to read through a few back posts though, just to make sure that I'm worthy of following (plus to get an idea of what I write about. Nothing naughty, promise!)

Susan O said...

Oh MY!

Muses and thoughtful ruminations from a man. How lovely and refreshing.

Gives us hope.

From across the ocean.

Susan O