The Heart

“Nowadays the word heart always sounds a little naive or commonplace. When I was young it could still be spoken without embarrassment, but now it’s a term no one uses anymore. On the rare occasions when it gets mentioned, the reference isn’t to the heart in the fullest sense of the word, but only to some malfunction, anemic tissue caused by a blocked artery, say, or problems with an auricle; there’s no longer so much as a hint about the heart as the center, the essence of human nature. I’ve often wondered why it’s been ostracized like this.
“He who puts his trust in his own heart is a fool” – Augusto often used to say that, quoting the Bible. But why on earth should such a person be a fool? Is it because the heart is like a combustion chamber? Because there’s darkness inside there, darkness and fire? The mind is as modern as the heart is ancient. These days people who follow their hearts are considered to be close to the animal world, to uninhibited nature, while those who follow reason are close to the upper spheres of reflection. But suppose things aren’t like that, suppose they’re just the opposite? Suppose it’s this excess of reason that’s starving our lives?”
-susanna tamaro

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18 August 2009

When I awoke this morning, all was going to be well.

Then I had lunch with some lovely people, and enjoyed the wife’s dessert immensely. Five minutes later, when my mouth felt like fire ants were fighting a war in there, I calmly asked if there had been walnuts in the dessert. “Why yes,” the kind woman responded, “finely ground for the best flavor.” Benadryl. Home. Bed. 2 Hours of induced sleep. Check.

Feeling I had timed it all spectacularly, I went to work feeling quite well, though my mouth was perhaps a little itchy still. Minor offense indeed. I should here suffice it to say that my Lymphatic System is working spectacularly these days. The walnut bit went off alright, so why not add a little something to the pot and see if the ol’ body held up?

How about…..oh yes, a scorpion sting……..make that a triple shot.

The little bugger had crawled up inside my pantleg while I was working, because, really, I need more excitement in my life.

Anecdotal Sketch of Modern Medicine

The emotion bank of your body is monitored by a chemical called Serotonin, which can be manipulated and altered by nearly every component of your life, from the food you eat to the colors you wear. Recent studies have focused on these small clues to explore the idea that emotions are completely, one hundred percent dominated by exterior, mundane components. This means that, since emotions are not abstractly volitional or as some like to think, spiritual, then they can also be ruled by medicine. This has been tested on such conditions as ADD and has proven that changing emotions is as simple as putting a Band-Aid on a cut.

Given these facts, we can examine how this plays into the rest of the body. According to modern psychological and psychiatric studies, the human emotions or moods directly effect the health of the entire human body. And these moods are effected and often caused by vitamin deficiencies, making them unavoidable. For example, “violent inclinations or feelings are caused by a lack of Vitamins D and C, as well as Magnesium and Iron.”1

This means, consequently, that if people study the main factors in their mood swings and take the corresponding natural remedies, the world will gradually progress into a utopian society lacking negative emotions. Psychologist William Glasser believes that if we learn to take advantage of what “Mother Nature has given to us, life might be unbelievably joyful.” Psychiatrist David Burns even more optimistically observes that, “using medicine will free you from fears, phobias, panic attacks, nervousness, anger, self-defeat, and improve your health all around.” The key is to understand that the emotions are not a result of people’s volitional responses, but a consequent of nerves, environment, and diet, all of which can be controlled with modern medicine. As soon as people believe this simple truth, then we will have found the antidote for hate, crime, and violence, and the key to a peaceful life and society.

On Petting Trees

“Touching a tree is no different from touching any other living thing, in fact, even better. Why is it better? Because if you scratch a dog’s head, for example, you indeed feel something warm and vibrant, but beneath that there’s always a tremor of agitation. Perhaps dinnertime is coming soon, or not soon enough; perhaps he’s longing for you or just recalling a bad dream. Do you see? Dogs, like people, have too many thoughts, too many requirements. Neither dog nor man can attain peace and happiness by himself alone.
Trees are different. From the moment it sprouts until the day it dies, a tree stays fixed in the same spot. Its roots are nearer than anything else to the heart of the earth, and its crown is nearer to the sky. Sap courses through it from top to bottom, from bottom to top. It expands and contracts according to the daylight. It waits for rain, it waits for sun, it waits for one season and then another, it waits for death. Not one of the things that enable it to live depends on its will. It exists and that’s all. Now do you see why trees are so good to stroke? Because they stand so staunchly, because their breathing is so slow and so serene and so very deep.”
-susanna tamaro

Friendship: In English

The last post was me sorting. What I know right now is this: I am overwhelmed with Friendship in my life. In my early years there were friendships that were built for eternity and everything in between. But as youth faded I became lonely for the first time, as every friendship ran shallower than those early ones, and faster – more transitory all together. But as I take a moment’s pause now I see true Friendship in many faces – more than I ever could have asked for. Three in particular that have become part of me, our beings are now inextricable from one another. They are unexpected to most, comic to some. They have arisen without invitation nor expectation, but their roots have wound and bound me.

And now I am leaving this place. I know that transplanting Friendships is much more difficult than the rarest plant, and more painful. I know the roots remain, the seeds, the flower, but that our ground will no longer be shared brings tears of sorrow. I find myself desiring winter, so we can all freeze in this moment – but alas, the sun in shining out my window, beckoning autumnal change.

So, in English: I am scrambling for each and every moment here, to encase memories in impenetrable timelessness. And I am sorrowful. For the first time in my life, it hurts to leave.

our sad *cheers*

Friendship: the optional love

C.S. Lewis outlined Friendship as that love which is not necessary to the biological functions of humanity. Without Eros none of us would have been begotten and without Affection none of us would have been reared; but we can live and breed without Friendship. The former two can be felt tugging at your guts and fluttering in your diaphragm. But in Friendship – in that luminous, tranquil, rational world of relationships freely chosen – you got away from all that. This alone, of all the loves, seemed to raise you to the level of gods or angels. (An example to show the innate difference of perspective here would be that lovers are normally depicted in the mind’s eye as being face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends are side by side, absorbed in some common interest.)

I sometimes wonder if Lewis would say that there is inherent value in Friendship because of (not in spite of) the fact that it is not :necessary” to human existence in the way the other loves are. Being entirely volitional, Friendship can become a thing unto itself, serving those who enter into it either to heaven or hell – which are real but not tangible.

Friendship: In English


The last post was me sorting. What I know right now is this: I am overwhelmed with Friendship in my life. In my early years there were friendships that were built for eternity and everything in between. But as youth faded I became lonely for the first time, as every friendship ran shallower than those early ones, and faster – more transitory all together. But as I take a moment’s pause now I see true Friendship in many faces – more than I ever could have asked for. Three in particular that have become part of me, our beings are now inextricable from one another. They are unexpected to most, comic to some. They have arisen without invitation nor expectation, but their roots have wound and bound me.

And now I am leaving this place. I know that transplanting Friendships is much more difficult than the rarest plant, and more painful. I know the roots remain, the seeds, the flower, but that our ground will no longer be shared brings tears of sorrow. I find myself desiring winter, so we can all freeze in this moment – but alas, the sun in shining out my window, beckoning autumnal change.

So, in English: I am scrambling for each and every moment here, to encase memories in impenetrable timelessness. And I am sorrowful. For the first time in my life, it hurts to leave.