Tell It To My Heart.

Iconography works on a lot of levels. The stylized picture of a heart, for instance, typically means love.

Except when it doesn’t.

And it still bothers me that the stylized heart symbol doesn’t look like any heart that I’ve ever seen, and I’m speaking as someone who did a lot of dissecting as a kid. Even an unusual heart, like the one that belongs to amazing blogger Ann Koplow, doesn’t in any way resemble the popular symbol. It’s interesting that while hearts are, anatomically speaking, so important they’re not centrally placed nor are they symmetrical, unlike lungs, brains, or kidneys. It even seems strange to me that, given the critical role of the heart, most of us only have one, unless you happen to be a Time Lord.

Hearts are strange things. The Tin Woodman wanted one, Humbert Humbert died of a broken one, and even Shakespeare asked, “Where is fancy bred?” although some scholars think he might have been looking for an artisanal bakery, but that’s another story.

Because iconography works on so many levels it’s easy to manipulate, subvert, twist, fold, spindle, and mutilate an accepted symbol into something completely different—into its exact opposite.

Maybe that’s why I this so much.

And with Valentine’s Day coming up can you think of a better way to express your feelings, at least without resorting to a restraining order?

 

11 Comments

  1. Mila

    Ahaha ‘artisanal bakery’ ❤

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yeah, that just kind of slipped in there. You know how Shakespeare was with puns.

      Reply
  2. Moonwatcher51

    We just had a pervert peeping tom. Looking for love in all the wrong places. I’d rather an artisanal bakery or a chocolate heart that I’d share with you and my blogging friends Ann, Christine and Judith and Patrice and Trudie and… ah heck. A vat full of chocolate to our hearts content.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      At first I misread that as “perfect peeping Tom”. Which I can’t imagine, but, hey, if you’re going to have a peeping Tom it would be nice to have a perfect one.

      Reply
  3. Jay

    I heart you. And I heart that new profile pic!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Now you’re making me blush. And the dogs are pleased with themselves too.

      Reply
  4. Ann Koplow

    Of course, I <3 this post. Thank you, Chris, from the bottom of my unusual heart.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s impossible to talk about hearts without mentioning yours which is remarkable in so many ways.

      Reply
  5. Arionis

    I had always heard that the heart symbol came from the shape of a woman’s buttocks as she bent over. How’s that for romantic? However, a quick Google search (http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/what-is-the-origin-of-the-heart-symbol) shows all kinds of possible origins. For some reason I like the above explanation the best.

    In any case, Happy Woman’s Derriere Day.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I won’t speculate as to why that’s your favorite except to say it was a million to one shot, doc. Million to one.

      Reply
      1. Arionis

        Perfect!

        Reply

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