The other day I went for an echocardiogram.
It is extraordinary to me, to imagine that someone somewhere once said;
"You know what we really need? A way to examine the heart by using ultrasound to monitor movement in physical areas within present time."
"Yeah," said the other nurse, looking up in anticipation. "My uncle was in the Navy and they use ultrasound equipment to locate enemy submarines. We could see if we could borrow his."
It was surprisingly empowering to see and hear my own heart. Does anyone remember the episode in Friends, where Jennifer Aniston could not see her baby in the ultrasound photograph? Well, I must admit I could not truly work out what my heart looked like.
It sounded like a washing machine and for a moment, it literally took my breathe away. As a mother must feel an instant love for the smudge that is hers, I was in awe of this pulsing gray mass. It is not something I have earned through hard work or a present that was given to me, this is mine. Been with me all my life and will continue to be there.
This was honestly the first time that I had thought about my body being a working thing. Inside all this skin, there are blobs of stuff, doing amazing tricks in order to keep me moving, thinking, laughing, writing, not moving, responding, relaxing, tightening, stopping and simply doing. That washing machine is on constant wash.
It's funny how most of us are searching for a connection to another, or something above, some reason and purpose. Yet, do we search for a connection to what is inside us? It made me realize that I pay more attention to the contents of my handbag than I do to the contents of my body.
It was interesting and kind of precious in a personal way.