Heartprints... Love Leaves a Mark
So this is it. You are scored on my heart...
Me Before You Jojo Moyes
You've doubtless heard of footprints, and the uniqueness of fingerprints. As I delve into my five book series of romance-mysteries (the one with the spies - read more about them here), I've been thinking of how unique love is for each and every one of us.
One of my frequently-quoted blurts is about online dating apps, where I've said they're about avoiding loneliness and not about finding love. I definitely do not like the commodification of love. This may sound hugely hypocritical coming from an author of historical romance novels.
The thing is, the algorithms dating sites use and the corporate systems created to serve up momentary hope to lonely people, are designed by marketers, to a budget. Their aim is to generate sales - also to a budget - and the industry is clearly successful because it's growing at a rate of knots.
That's not to say that online dating does not result in long term, long standing loving - indeed, one of my best friends met his wife on Tinder. They have one of the most robustly solid relationships I've ever encountered. That's also not to say that everyone wants this kind of connection, every time. This is simply not true - which brings me to my main point.
Love is not uniform for everyone. That any two people are fulfilled in precisely the same way, by exactly the same things, seems like a denial of our fundamental humanity - and the wonderfully varied way this shows up all around us, every day. I believe - with all of my being - that Love manifests differently for each and every one of us. No two hearts are the same - nor do they beat with the same rhythms, want the same things, and are sated by the same connections. Our hearts are as individual as our fingerprints. All of us are utterly unique.
Each human being experiences the world in their own way. Our hearts are responding to this all the time, in real time, shifting and changing as we interact and move in, move close, move away, apart - or even closer...
Every interaction we have leaves traces in our lives, and on our hearts. Some traces are feather-light - a bus driver smiles at you on a rainy morning when you've had a bad night's sleep. The smile lifts you a little. Then you're shoved accidentally by another passenger. Your mood dips. These are the traces of my morning commute - how about yours?
There are deeper marks of course, of a more indelible kind: my first love, and my first lover. My first 'serious' connection that ended badly and broke my heart. A million pieces rattling around inside my breast for days, months, probably years... There's likely still pieces missing, or cracks like in the old Japanese pot metaphor. It was decades ago now and sometimes I can't be sure I remember his name - but I do. Of course I do. He left a mark on my memory, in my life, and on my heart.
My heart healed of course, but the entire episode left traces. These are my heartprints, like tattoos of certain times and places in my past life. The recollection of feelings that didn't last, but remain undiminished in value. I bear the heartprints of the love I gave. I can't speak for everyone of course, but my heart has a long memory. My heartprints remain fixed within, forever.
So, who's scored on your heart?