Friday Essay – Heart Memories

Fire Heart LoveI found a memo in my Blackberry entitled “Heart Memories”.  There was no actual memo, just this title.  I have no idea what I meant when I typed it into my phone, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.  What could I have meant when I wrote that?  What does it mean now, especially since I can’t for the life of me remember why I wrote it down?  So, I guess it doesn’t really matter what I meant when I wrote, what matters is what meaning I make from it now.

What is a ‘heart memory’? My favourite guy suggested it might be something like muscle memory, and it could certainly be that.  A habit of the heart that is not really connected to the conscious. Falling in love would certainly be at the top of the list if this is the meaning of ‘heart memory’.  But somehow I’m starting to think it is more than that. I think ‘heart memory’ does mean a habit of the heart unconnected to conscious and it is a memory stored in your heart or in the mind’s ‘heart place’.  These are those memories that make one smile, make one feel warm and fuzzy inside, that make one’s belly catch fire.  Like when I remember the night I really met and flirted with my now-boyfriend.  I offered my hand to shake as I was leaving the bar and he let his hand linger in mine as I left.  Just the memory of that touch makes me smile and feel warm.  That is a heart memory.  But, maybe ‘heart memories’ don’t just make one feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Maybe heart memories can be painful and sharp and sore.  Like when I remember my grandfather’s funeral.  Even now I feel tears welling in the corners of my eyes.  I was devastated.  I was a complete mess throughout the entire service – bawling, sniffling, blowing my nose, gasping to catch my breath.  After the service the cortege travelled to the Nairn Cemetery for the burial.  I watched a hawk follow us most of the way there.  It was a fine April day – a good day to plant Grandpa.  I laughed with family at the wake afterward.  It was a good day, full of all the emotions a death and its subsequent family reunion brings.

Yes, that is a heart memory – a habit or reaction of the heart unconnected to the conscious; a memory stored in the mind’s heart place that triggers deep emotional responses.  What heart memories do you have?

Be Lovely to Each Other,



2 thoughts on “Friday Essay – Heart Memories

  1. Hi Laura. Your story about your grandfather’s funeral reminded my heart of one of its memories. I was at the cemetery where a family member who had committed suicide was being buried. I was standing beside my best friend who was struggling with depression at the time. My heart was filled with a horrible mixture of grief at the loss of the family member and fear that my friend would also take his own life. Thankfully he is an honorable man and he kept his promise after I grabbed him and made him promise never to do such a thing.

    • Thanks, Brent. I appreciate hearing your story. All our stories are so important. I think that’s what I love about spoken word poetry and storytelling, we’re reminded how much we are the same, how vulnerable and human we all really are.

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