Home > emotion, heart, medicine, society > A Heart is a Muscular Pump

A Heart is a Muscular Pump

It causes me a momentary discomfort when I hear someone say (either in a performance or in society) “I love him with all my heart”. “It is with heartfelt gratitude I thank you for your generosity”. “This heart-rending story has ended”. “This will tug at your heart”.

On and on, and I don’t understand why all these emotional characteristics have been attributed to the heart. It is a pump. It is an amazing pump to be sure, but a pump all the same. It is a muscle, perhaps superior to all our other muscles. I honour the muscle for all that it is, but it is not a thing which emits love, gratitude and emotional contact.

The heart is obviously a fabulous pump. Mine has been working for seventy-eight years now. For the first seventy-six years it performed brilliantly. Even then, some minor servicing by talented doctors (much like talented mechanics), and on it goes. It has seen me through a vast number of adventures, four marriages, many canoe voyages, millions of miles driven through mountain ranges, across prairies and deserts. It was pumping happily when I raced sports cars, raced motorboats, survived sailing mishaps, several trans-ocean flights, several domestic flights, several small plane adventures, grand-fatherhood fatherhood, and a rigorous career as a creative professional.

Through it all, it just keeps pumping. Never did it fall in love, feel remorse, harbour hate, or get tugged at by a tragic event. The heart is a fabulous pump… but just a pump.

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