A recent Wired magazine article by Mai Ngyuen, “How Scientists Preserved a 440-Pound Blue Whale Heart” explains how scientists preserved the heart an unlucky blue whale that washed up in 2014 in Newfoundland. This whale’s lack of luck was lucky for mammalogy technicians at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, who were able to preserve the heart, and lucky for us that we get to experience this wonder of nature.
Give the article a read. It’s a fascinating explanation of how they extract, dilate, ship, plastinate and cure the humongous heart organ.
This quote jumped out at me and I can’t stop thinking about it:
“Its sheer size alone accelerates decomposition, so it’s remarkable we got to salvage a heart,” says Jacqueline Miller, who led the first-of-its-kind preservation effort.
To salvage a heart.
To salvage a heart.
How to salvage a heart?
These phrases keep running through my mind.
How do you salvage a heart? Scientifically, I just learned a whole lot about the process by reading the blue whale article.
How do we salvage a human heart? An open heart that has closed? A wounded heart laden with scars?
How do we take care of our own heart so we can open it again and again? How do we fill it up so we can share its contents over and over?
Filling / Emptying
Receiving / Giving
Opening / Closing
Like the ventricles of our physical heart organ, we continue to open and close our heart’s chambers as we move through our daily lives, our relationships, our interactions.
Are we giving our heart enough care? Enough good food, exercise and deep breathing? Are we clearing out the toxins? Are we fueling it with beauty?
We can salvage our own heart with powerful acts of self-preservation. We can strengthen our own self-care and mindful awareness. We can live with heartfulness. We can touch love in so many ways.
We can expand our heart until it hurts and we can stop worrying about measuring.
As Zelda Fitzgerald once said, “No one has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”
Learn about the World’s Biggest Heart at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto website.
photo credit: Royal Ontario Museum