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  • David Horst

The heart's eye


The heart is the pulsing center of life and a metaphor for living. You and I cannot survive without its ceaseless beating, and we cannot live without its endless meanings. The heart thinks, endures, acts, loves, and, most wondrous of all, the heart sees what my eyes cannot. The heart’s eye penetrates the visible world and sees what lies beneath or beyond, for “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).

What is it there I see? What is it there I find? What is it there I know? These things and more:

My heart sees you, the infant, in your wails and cries and quest for life.

My heart sees the dreams of today and tomorrow in you, the children who play and imagine.

My heart sees the cosmos in every tiny atom and molecule, each containing a perfectly ordered universe within.

My heart sees you, the deep, lifelong love and caring between the long-married couple even when they squabble.

My heart sees you, the activist, and your soul of deep compassion and love when you stand up and speak out in righteous anger.

My heart sees you, in your sickness and despair, the pain and trauma beneath your substance use and mental illness.

My heart sees the still-flickering light of being in your eyes, though your body and mind have been ravaged by months living on the streets or in the woods.

My heart sees the image of God in you when you forgive another for the pain they have caused and the harm they have done.

My heart sees the sadness in your laugh and the hope in your pain, for all beings are interconnected, ever evolving, ever emerging.

My heart sees the joy and love of life, even in times of death and loss, fear and despair.

What does your heart see and find and know in those around you? What is revealed to you in others beneath or beyond the noise, the superficial, and mere appearances?

I remind you and me and us all to engage in a daily practice of seeing, of taking no thing and no one at face value, of focusing our heart’s eye on what is truly essential.

You see, nothing is what it is. Everything is more than what it seems and laden with meaning. Everyone is more than what we see on the surface. Everyone and everything has information and wisdom if we see it, find it, and learn from it.


Photo: Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, Old Lyme, Connecticut

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© 2020 by DAVID M. HORST