Shape of Your Heart

“Heartful,” portion of painting by Courtney Putnam

Do you ever think about the shape of your heart? The human heart does have a specific shape, what with its lovely cavernous ventricles and orbed atria, but what I’m talking about is the metaphorical shape of your heart.

Over the last few days I have been reading Dorianne Laux’s poems in her book Smoke, and I stumbled upon her poem “Heart.” While reading Laux’s poem, I started to focus on my own heart. At first I noticed that it was a flower bulb in the deep, dark depths of me. Then, a little green sprout appeared at the top, like part of me was opening up, seeking a bit of light.

In “Heart,” Laux writes:

“The heart shifts shape of its own accord–
from bird to ax, from pinwheel
to budded branch.”

And then, later:

“Harmonica heart, heart of tinsel,
heart of cement, broken teeth, redwood fence.
Heart of bricks and boards, books stacked
in devoted rows, their dusty spines
unreadable. Heart
with its hands full.
Hieroglyph heart, etched deep with history’s lists,
things to do. Near-sighted heart. Club-footed heart.”

What does your heart look like today? What did it look like and feel like this morning? What does your heart look like as you lie in bed, waiting for sleep to envelop you? Or, when you pet your cat? Or, weed in your garden? Or watch an old movie? Or listen to your favorite song?

Notice how the shape of your heart changes with everything you do. What form do you most like it to take?


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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One Response to Shape of Your Heart

  1. michael says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Ruth< HREF="" REL="nofollow"><>

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