When we speak of the heart breaking, we are speaking metaphorically, and yet anybody who has lived through heartbreak– that is, anybody who has lived at all– knows thoroughly the awful way in which the psychological condition of loss takes on the quality of physical pain. It is barely surprising, then, that the soul and the body heal in consanguinity– the heart-as-metaphor heals the very same method the heart-as-organ does.
“Love your heart. For this is the reward,” Toni Morrison composed in an exquisite passage from Beloved as she considered the body as an instrument of peace of mind, delight, and self-esteem a century after William James asserted in his innovative deal with how our bodies impact our feelings that “a simply disembodied human feeling is a nonentity,” lending the recently established reliability of a young science to Walt Whitmans poetic insistence that “the body is the significance and consists of, the main issue and consists of and is the soul.”
There is such fertile ground for sensemaking in this space in between biology and metaphor that we have always utilized our bodies as sensemaking instruments for the soul. No part of the body has taken on more metaphorical significance than the vital organ depicted in millennia of literature and song as the seat of love.
That is what English poet Christy Ducker checks out with uncommon level of sensitivity and lyric elegance in “A Scientists Advice on Healing.” A great poet and a fine scholar who made her Ph.D. while making up poems about the Victorian lighthouse keeper Grace Darling, Ducker embodies the animating spirit of The Universe in Verse and stands as a testament to Ursula K. Le Guins beautiful insistence that “science describes properly from outdoors, poetry explains precisely from inside, [and] both commemorate what they describe.” In this captivating animated poem, Ducker signs up with visions with artist Kate Sweeney to provide a soulful prescription partway in between science and metaphor, between organ and instrument, as palliating to the physiology of illness as it is to the psychology of heartbreak:
The poem appears in Messenger (UK edition)– a slim collection of Duckers poems exploring “how we wound and how we heal,” making use of the science of immunology in a collaboration with Yorks Center for Chronic Disease, and including visual poetics by Sweeney, who also animated poet Linda Frances spectacular “Murmuration.”.
Couple with “Antidotes to Fear of Death”– astronomer and poet Rebecca Elsons sensational cosmic salve for our creaturely tremblings of heart– then review Epictetuss 2,000-year-old Stoic method for surviving heartbreak.
The Human Heart. One of French artist Paul Sougys mid-century scientific diagrams of life. When we speak of the heart breaking, we are speaking metaphorically, and yet anyone who has actually lived through heartbreak– that is, anybody who has lived at all– knows thoroughly the dreadful way in which the psychological condition of loss takes on the quality of physical pain. It is hardly unexpected, then, that the soul and the body recover in consanguinity– the heart-as-metaphor heals the very same way the heart-as-organ does.
A SCIENTISTS ADVICE ON HEALINGby Christy Ducker
Try to acceptthis fat red hurtis your beginning point, in the way a pen need to be put to paper in one particular spot,
beyondthe globby flapof blame and past the mono-sulk of pain.
Modification the topic, prior to its too late.Sketch outwhat healthyou do possess, what signal-cascades, what flotilla of cellscircumnavigate you,
Draw yourself back together once again, in a language of your own.
Your bodys talkis loose as lymph– itll have you open out as a tree, or sneak up on discomfort as assassin, partner, or wolf.
Encourage thisfor healing will not come at you straight.Embrace the lack of heroics– this isnt Hollywood, its you, in a plotthat mayor may not fix.