O, throw away the worser part of it, And live the poorer with the other half.

Well that would be nice and neat, wouldn’t it? If the dark things in our hearts just hung out in half of it – two clear ventricles of bad stuff. And then, yeah, you could have a heart excision and find yourself all clean and clear of all the things that troubled you before.

But the heart doesn’t work that way – it is more a train station than a depository. The bad stuff cycles through, as well as the good – along with the blood. It pumps stuff in and pumps it back out. And yet somehow we think of it as having personalities and qualities. The hardness of the heart or the cruelty or the weakness or the soft, etc. I wonder what the actual hearts of the actual people whose hearts have been discussed this way actually look like. Is there some power in the metaphor that is actually there? There’s usually some little seedlet that relates to the truth.

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