The Restless Heart
My heart is restless. Your heart is restless. I was just sitting here thinking about that. This is a literal restlessness–not as in troubled or without peace but never resting–that sustains life. Our hearts beat continually until we die. Is it really fathomable? All our other organs can “rest” but our hearts cannot. We can be brain dead and technically still alive as long as our hearts keep beating.
Sitting here thinking of my own insignificance, this thought happened across my mind. Gladly, I felt a little more significant because of this perpetually beating organ in my chest. That it is beating on its own not because of anything under my control (though dietary, physical, and mental health can help it beat longer) is also awe inspiring. I believe its beating because of a divine God’s will. It will continue beating until some unknown time. It is unlike any other thing we are used to. It gets stronger the more it beats.
Placing my hand to my chest over my heart, I can feel it beating gently. If my dog started barking furiously at a passerby through the window, startling me, my heart would speed up. Its tempo changes according to my moods, emotions, and activities, sometimes without my knowledge. Thinking on this makes me calm and peaceful somehow. It makes me appreciate that almost every other living creature has this organ also.
Maybe humans identify the heart as the wellspring or seat of emotions because it is always beating. If it is always beating then it is always present and accounted for in every experience we have. It is like a sponge in that respect, soaking in everything. I recall a movie, “Return to Me,” about a woman who received another woman’s heart through a transplant. The heart recipient and the donor’s husband met accidentally and fell in love. The recipient took on some of the donor’s characteristics. Even the donor’s dog recognized his former owner’s heart. Hollywood knows how to weave a heartwarming tale. I’ve read (unscientific reports) of recipients inexplicably picking up certain affinities that they attribute to the donor. I can’t attest to the accuracy of this phenomenon, but I feel that all hearts are unique.