Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Expressions from the HeART

Most of us believe that the heart is the center of a person’s emotions. On Valentine’s Day, men and women all around the world will express their love for those closest to them with pink and red heart shaped objects such as candies, candles, and cards. Heart shaped trinkets and jewelry are also popular tokens of love. People communicate their feelings in the shape of a heart.

Artist Betty Newman. |Photo by Maria Lamb

Betty Newman, a local artist from Marco Island is known for her artistic rendition of hearts. She even kept her first heart painting. She recalled being in an art show and somebody bought two of her heart paintings. It was a gift for a daughter who just had a heart transplant. Since then, Betty has been painting more hearts.

Betty was also commissioned by a local cardiologist to paint a heart as a surprise gift for his father. The heart painting is now displayed inside the lobby of their cardiology office. According to Betty, “you get a piece of my heart when you buy one of my artworks.”

When you have fallen in love you are said to “lose your heart to someone.” But if that person who “won your heart” does not love you back, then, you are sure to have a “broken heart.” You may decide to “pour your heart” out to a friend to make you feel better.

But if your friend does not understand your pain you may ask her to “have a heart.” By showing sympathy, your friend has “her heart in the right place.” Your friends may warn you “not to wear your heart on your sleeve,” for fear of getting hurt. Or you might need to have a “heart to heart talk” with your roommate when things are not going well. If you are a good person, people would often say, you have a “heart of gold.” Or even if you get angry, they know that “at heart,” you still care.

It is believed that since the human heart has long been associated with our emotions, through time, it slowly evolved as the symbol of romance. It became popular during the Renaissance, when it was used in religious art and by the 18th and 19th century, the heart became a recurring motif on Valentine’s Day cards and love notes.

The Catholic Church contends that the modern heart shape came along in the mid 17th century when Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque had a vision of a heart surrounded by thorns. This became the symbol known today as the Sacred Heart of Jesus and associated with love and devotion. It was a popular depiction on stained glass windows and church iconography.

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