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Word Art: That Which Is Called the Heart

After I finished Spiral, I took a short break and then sat down and began on what became That Which Is Called the Heart.  It was an initial experiment in writing around white space and it taught me the singularly important lesson that I’ve carried to every subsequent work–use something to keep the lines straight!  I didn’t do it with this piece, and it shows.

The title, by the way, I came up with after I finished writing (I pretty much always title them at the end) and didn’t write it down on the piece itself until much later, but I realize that the title changed slightly between the mind and the pen.

That Which We Call the Heart

That Which Is Called the Heart

Most people look at it and think “Oh, pretty, a heart!  How sweet.”  Then they read the words.

Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love is so terrifying and powerful that the translators of the King James version of The Bible fell back from calling it love when Paul wrote of it and watered it down to ‘Charity.’

Love confounds our instincts for self-interest by giving us another to take an interest in.

Love binds us in ways we would have no other reason to be bound and binds us so tightly that the moment that bond is broken, the pain is that of a physical wound.

We feel it in the center of our chest, where the heart is carried, both the joys of love felt and the agonies of love denied to us.

Once, I was asked what I meant by love. “L-O-V-E, what do you mean by that?” he asked.

I was still in a state of ache for a love I had lost and this fellow had hopes, of a sort, for a way to talk me out of them.

So I gave him my reply.

It was not forced or at all faked or somehow contrived.

I spoke it without a second’s hesitation.

“That I would move heaven and earth for him.”

And it was the truth.

His reply was an odd one and not entirely relevant to this conversation.

He claimed my reply marked me as one of the fae.

I think my reply marked me as a human being who feels deeply.

My heart will not love on conditions.

It gives itself over only after careful examination of the recipient.

But once it has spoken, it will not be dissuaded, not by rejection, not by distance, not even, in some ways, by death itself.

My heart beats freely, it spirals inward and overflows outward and it refuses to be denied.

Love is infinite and I am not afraid.

I drink deeply of it.

I let it flow from me.

I let it flow over myself.

And if you are patient enough to have read these words all the way to the bottom of this little mess of artistic attempt, then in this moment, I give my love to you and thank you kindly for your love of me.

The conversation mentioned in the piece did, in fact, happen.  The fellow’s response when I provided my definition of love (“that I would move heaven and earth for him”–yes, I said it and meant it) was a slight pause and then: “You’re not human.  There’s something of the fae about you.”  The incident stuck with me in such a way that it came out of me in this artwork.  It’s not often that someone will say to you “you’re not human” and mean it as a compliment.  (Then again, this was at Dragon*Con, so perhaps not so strange in context.)

Prints of this work are available here.

The original is not for sale.

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