A history of the Heart – Pt 1

 in Three Rainbows (I) 2009

Francesco Clemente, A History of the Heart in Three Rainbows (II), 2009

Recently the question “what is love” google-ranked into the top ten question searches. Who’s asking? Who isn’t?

What is love? That depends on what time it is.

Is it the time when the great noise parted — the only sound — the breathing of you and another? Whose dilate eyes held in them all your healing and possible death. Who captured your soul with their fingers?

Is it the time — fifteen years in, goldfish crackers crunched to floor, high on exhaustion, child echo in your ears, when you look to your partner and feel a sense of long-lived loyalty.

Is it the time after you’ve thrown a rose down an earthen box, heard it soft thump. Tasted your tears and groped around to find some feeling to name? A duty — and still is love.

The truth is — love grows and dies on the same tree — our lives. We have a myriad hearts we’ve encaged to many people and things. And our several loves, delicate hued, have a variable shelf life. Your limited number of hearts, your time-limited love. To lavish on others, to lavish on ourselves.

We want to be free, but we want to be loved. One condition opposes the other. And the struggle between the restrictions of love and the care of self are paid in seconds ticking by. We make choices. So the cage door closes and the cage door opens. The joy close. The sorrow open.

These intricate economies of time and passion we call love.


3 Comments on “A history of the Heart – Pt 1”

  1. ae8848 says:

    thank-you for speaking of the complexities of love. said with such care. I will love better now, and tend more to my self now…all with the awareness of this is just how it is. xx

    • heatherit says:

      Looking back on it, I too feel a bit melancholy. I love the mythologies of love. The cinematic glory. The Jane Austen narratives. It seems that deciding to care for someone and stay caring is a daily ritual of kindness. Lots of giving, lots of patience. Some plodding. Some fun.

  2. artfan says:

    “Is it the time after you’ve thrown a rose down an earthen box, heard it soft thump. Tasted your tears and groped around to find some feeling to name? A duty — and still is love.”

    to know someone for near a lifetime and to say goodbye forever not because of diverging paths but because of death with all the sorrow that brings… am I crazy to want to know what that life is like?

    oh, and thank God for loyalty. whew!


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