I love hearts. Human hearts in particular. They hold a vast amount of purpose and meaning. The heart, as anyone can tell you, is vital for life. It’s what pumps blood throughout your body. It’s the very heart (pardon the pun) of the circulatory system. It allows blood to receive oxygen from the lungs before sending it off to the rest of your body. It’s highly important to keep your heart healthy enough to do this through diet and exercise. Are you aware that heart problems are the leading cause of death of Americans? I recently learned that. Quite interesting, in my opinion.
The heart represents mortality. What’s the first thing one checks for upon discovering a body in one piece? A pulse. A flat line on a heart monitor has become a much used, even cliché, symbol of death. When the heart stops, everything stops. It’s like the power cord of a computer. Pull it out, and all operations cease. It’s done. Finished. Over. Goodbye.
I think it’s funny how love is so closely associated with a symbol of a heart. In this day and age, “heart” is sometimes seen as an informal synonym for “love”; “I <3 you” and “I heart you” are rather popular phrases among teenagers these days. In fact, I’ve heard that our symbol for a heart is supposed to be two human hearts sewn together. The heart has nothing to do with love. All the feeling comes from your brain. Even when people describe their hearts racing from passion, it’s just a response to chemicals that their brains are releasing. Some might call it improper crediting. But if you think about it, we humans are connecting our life lines with love. “I love you from the bottom of my heart” could be taken as “I love you with my life force, my very essence of being.” And I think that’s beautiful.
In short, human hearts are wonderful. They are vital for life and recognized as such. They symbolize love, one of the strongest feelings a human can possess. Human hearts are powerful. Human hearts are important. Human hearts are beautiful.
And that, Your Honor, is why I collect them.