Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I Mean This from the Bottom of Mine

In class yesterday, The Bane of My Existence was cynically wisecracking about how we really need to do away with the expression "I love you from the bottom of my heart" as a) the heart has nothing to do with emotion (that's the limbic system), and b) the bottom of one's heart, he claims, would be the diaphragm, so the expression is the equivalent of saying "I love you from my diaphragm."

I'm not a big one for cliche, but after learning last night that the heart has its own electrical system which runs independently of the skeletal muscular system and the nervous system, that "[t]he heart could actually be removed from the body, placed in a saline solution, given oxygen and still continue to beat"[1] , I must admit, that time-worn expression somehow seems all the more lovely to me.

Again, I don't know how exactly I've gone 30 years without realizing that the heart beats independently from the nervous system (which controls the contracture of all skeletal musculature in the body), but I have. And to say you love someone from a place that stands out from all other portions of the body, that pumps 30 times its own weight in blood *every minute*, that trums out the quiet rhythmic soundtrack of your insides, that is its own engine, that generates its own fierce electricity, that needs not the brain or nervous system to tell it what to do, and that continues to trudge on gallantly even after the brain has died, well, hell, I can hardly think of a place from which I'd rather be loved.