Anyone with any sense of logic at all, knows that a pounding heart is located in the left part of a persons chest. If you place your palm on top of your skin, right above where your heart resides, you can feel the steady beating of a most important muscle. It pumps your blood all around your body, up, up above the the heart’s location and even down to your tiny toes if you were to stand up-side-down.
Now, you can also feel the pumping in your neck because of the main vein there, but otherwise you en’t feeling it at all.
I always thought the phrases “blood rushing rapidly in my ears” and “heart pounding fiercily” were clever wordplays created by authors to emphasize the distressed situation, and not to be physically felt by us humans in real life. That’s where I was deadly wrong.
I was standing in front of my refrigerator and lifting up an ice-cream box half-way filled with my homemade raspberry sorbét. It was heavy, so I placed it on the edge between the two sections, one small and one huge, of the refridgerator to rest so that I would have both hands free to lift the second one with the lime sorbét. But the edge was slippery with ice crystals, and the box slipped down to the narrow space of the smaller section. My right hand automatically flexed after it and I felt one of my fingers get squeezed inbetween the ice covered wall and the just as cold box. I withdrew my hand as fast as I could, and the pain cursed through me like needles. It was the pain of a part of your body being squeezed under a heavy object, the pain of something coming at you with a great speed and smashing into you and threathening to flatten you. It was that kind of pain, and so I overlooked it without a further do. It would soon go away like so many other times.
I lifted both the boxes up more carefully this time, and carried them up to the kitchen. Making sorbéts is a long and tedious process, and involves a lot of stirring. It was time for another stirring to break up those devilish ice crystals.
The pain kept screaming for my attention in spite of all logic, and I had to examine my finger to find out what was going on with this abnormal behavior. The sight that met me, was a sight I had seen many years ago. A sight that had frightened me as a 8-year-old kid and left me uncontrollably sobbing and therefore unable to talk and tell mommy what was wrong.
I saw a little part of my skin folded neatly on top of whatever unimaginable thin back-up skin that was underneath. But this was not the blackened and burned skin of hot oil meeting with sensitive skin. No, this was snow white skin which looked like a blister. But I soon discovered that it was far from a blister when the warm air had worked enough on my finger and the no longer frozen skin couldn’t keep the blood from oozing out any longer.
I had cut my finger badly.
Despite the horrible sight of my finger, I didn’t panic like I would have as a child. Somehow I felt oddly calm and collected, and went to find some bandages to wrap tightly around my finger to stop the blood from leaving me. The pain was fierce, more fierce than any physical pain I’ve experienced in a long time, and I could FEEL it. I FELT the pounding against the bandages, I FELT the blood trying to push past the white fabric. I could feel the pounding of my own blood! I never thought it was possible to feel the pounding without physically touching whatever part of your body it was located. But I could feel the throbbing in my finger, and it was so savage that I nearly ripped my bandage off to relieve my poor finger.
But I did, of course, not. Mind over matter.
Ever heard of the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” ? Well, although the meaning is completely different, this feels like wearing my heart on my fingertip.
Listening to: Stardust soundtrack (I really recommend it, it is so powerful, so full of emotions, and so thrilling!)
Reading: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (Br. fantasy) – His Dark Materials book 3