Dancing about architecture.
The thing with the heart is that it is a muscle. In terms of literal health it’s all just exercise and diet (well, there’s probably a little more than that, but its a damn good start). Metaphorically, we take the heart as a centre of a part of our self. The important part, for most; though it has been called into question before. The heart is the emotions and the connection to other people and the sense of wonder.
So you exercise that too. Exercise your love and wonder. After you’ve tackled your brain with crosswords and puzzles and suchlike, take your heart for a spin.
How you do that is probably something personal. Make sure there’s a long list of things that make your heart sing. Take it out into the karaoke bar that is the world and don’t be shy.
Singing is a start, and dancing. But just paying attention and breathing deeply in the right place can be all that is needed. The heart expands if given room. You just need to let it know it is safe.
This can be easier said than done, not least because we are always talking in a backwards trap. (I don’t know what I meant when I wrote that, but I’m leaving it intact, as it feels true). The metaphors we use to try and explain ourselves to each other, aiming at usefulness, actually just constrict our sense of the world. I’ll say it again, we do not feel with our heart. We feel with our whole.
We barely comprehend self at all, so we stretch it out and spread it and project it into different corners of the body. We listen to our heart as a means of tricking ourselves into paying attention to the same things we’ve been saying inside all along. The I that does the thinking, it is confused and messy and it doesn’t understand.
But it doesn’t matter much. We just have to remember that we fit together. There is something in me that is experiencing something out of me. There’s already enough wonder in that interaction. Let that expand out into everything we do and see. Watch the dance between your identity and your universe. See how you bounce feedback between everything out and everything in.
Feel your heart expand and nearly burst when your eyes and ears drink deep. Notice your body. Notice how the ways you move your body affect the way you feel. Notice how your body is the way you feel. In at least two different senses.
When you watch someone else’s excitement and passion, their dance (intentioned or not), you feel it some. We’ve got this web of feeling locking us all together. Minds connected through bodies. Interlocked lives.
Hearts in motion, in harmony, in synchronicity.
That’s lightness. The sun pouring down on bodies. Not always from the sky. Often just from one to the next.
Heart to heart.
All together now.
Illustration by Rosie.