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The Heart Series

The Heart Series attempts to translate the languages of our own human hearts.

I became fascinated painting about the human heart because I had a broken one. I could not understand how something so small could radiate such pain.  

I had the privilege of holding a human heart in the anatomy lab of a medical school. After that I started to read about the human heart and here is one amazing biological fact that I found online at Health with Confidence:

"The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes oxytocin, commonly referred to as the 'love' or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain."

So the heart excretes hormones. I know all about hormones so this explained a lot. 

I am so grateful to know that most of the deeply joyful and otherwise intense feelings I have experienced have a biological origin in the organ in the middle left of my chest. Somehow it makes being a human being with a human heart so much less scary. 

This is why I love my children so fiercely, am deeply loyal to friends and family and am continually, surprisingly, powerfully, tragically and otherwise moved by beauty everywhere. It is on account of my heart.


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