My Misshapen Heart

My heart isn’t formed as one would really expect a heart to be formed.

In fact, it probably closely resembles what a heart looks like when I, without sight, try to draw it.

But I love this thing. It is a piece of rose quartz, so in my mind’s eye, it has a soft pink hue to it, though I’ve never actually asked anyone what colour it truly is, for I might be disappointed if it isn’t the colour inside my mind.

My malformed heart is cold to the touch when you pick it up, but it warms very quickly. It has a smooth surface, almost to the point of feeling silky. Small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, but large enough to serve its purpose in life.

I call it misshapen, because it more or less is. One of the two humps at the top comes up further than the other, though there is a dip between them that is pleasant to run my finger back and forth over. One of the downward sloping edges that leads towards the nadir is convex, the opposite side is concave, so that my poor little heart looks as though it had gotten all squidged to one side.

The bottom isn’t the classic, sharp V, either, but is more gently, softly rounded.

So, yes. It is very much a misshapen heart, and it is utterly perfect. This is the sort of heart that can help to heal another person. It can bring soothing peace to the agitated. It can ease away a headache, help to erase pains of the body, and even stimulate a lugubrious circulatory system or enliven some insensitive nerves.

This is my guasha stone. Guasha is a traditional Chinese practice, often used by acupuncturists during a treatment, but can also be used in massage therapy. It is usually used in hard, rapid strokes over tense muscle, save on the face and head where it is slow and gentle.

And the funny thing about my little misshapen heart? It helps me as much as it does my clients. It saves my thumbs for one thing, but I also use it on myself to ease away the knots that form in my forearms after a day of deep tissue massage. I bring it home with me at night for this purpose, but I admit that I also take it with me rather than storing it in my locker because I like to just hold it sometimes.

Finally? This stone which I have come to have an actual emotional attachment too seems to be a perfect metaphor for my own heart. Life has pushed and pulled it somewhat askew. It goes in where it should go out and out where it should go in. It doesn’t look as if it is quite in balance, but it is shaped exactly as it ought to be. It was made to help. To heal. To soothe sometimes and energize at others. It warms quickly despite seeming a bit cool at first. It surprises people, and it is beautiful.

(The above is a sample piece from a 30-day writing challenge. Specifically, it was today’s post. The challenge was to choose an object in the room with you, and describe it. Easy for most people, a little more difficult for me since I can’t rely on describing appearance. I chose to describe my guasha stone. Now, generally we write actual stories, but they wanted to go easy on us today.)

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