Friday, September 21, 2012

Beat 303 - safe

My heart is fine and dandy. It hasn't been broken and I've never had heart problems. I've never had any impacting things to my heart. No scratches. Not yet...

Alanna, Toronto, Canada

beat 302 - heedless

Romantically my heart is really guarded but with every other type of connection, my heart is totally unguarded and I love everyone. My mom taught me that every life is special. Because of that I find interest in everybody. I really strive to genuinely encourage people. That makes me really happy.

- Lizzie Arneson, Brooklyn
Hair and makeup artist

Beat 301 - devious

My heart is untrustworthy. I'm only now beginning to trust and listen to it.

- Catherine Sweeney, Brooklyn

Friday, September 7, 2012

beat 300 - blocked

My heart has walls around it. I don't let people in easily. 

Payal Parikh, Brooklyn

beat 299 - heartless

I feel like I don't have a heart. I'm very happy person but I don't really think my feelings are genuine. I feel like I'm broken. When my father passed away everyone was heartbroken but I didnt know where to place my feelings. I don't feel the same emotions most people do. I cannot remember the last time I cried. I think the heart is part of our anatomy and feelings aren't necessarily least for me.

- Daniel Clavero, NY

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Beat 298 - inked

I'd show you my heart but I'd have to take my pants off.

- David, Brooklyn, NY
Photographer/all around great guy

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

beat 297 - raged

My heart used to love all the time. But a boy broke it into a million little pieces and ever since I haven't been able to love anything at all. 
When he up and left, all the hate I have inside of me came to the surface. I feel it's much easier to hate than to love. At least for now.

- CAR, NYC by way of Texas

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

beat 296 - in check

From one day to the next I decided to leave my ego at the door. That's when love came my way. I always had this obsession with finding a "perfect" girl. Someone like my mom. Weird, I know. But I grew up with parents that were madly in love. Never fought. One day my mom sat me down, I was turning 32, and she said, "listen, you aren't me. you never will be. So stop trying to have the same relationship your father and I have." 
I left dinner that night and stared at the deer antlers on my wall for hours. I don't know what it was about those damn antlers, but they mesmerized me all night. I just sat there and talked to them like they were my friend. I asked them questions and I came to my own answers. Sometimes talking out loud to no one can be therapy. 
That changed it all. I realize that night that now times are different. Women are different. Men are different. I've found love many times since that talk. I found a girl that hated the antlers, I sent her away. I found a girl that soon after bought antlers of her own. Pretty symbolic, right? Well, I love different women for different things. Most of all, I know THE ONE is out there and I will love her for her and she will love me for me. And when it happens, I will love the world even more.

- Victor Shane, Brooklyn
Photography professor

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

beat 294 - unabated

I have been heartbroken more than I have been in love.  And yet, love is what dominates my life.  7 years ago this past July, my life changed - while living abroad, a man, someone I didn't know, who was someone's son, probably someone's father and husband, broke into  my apartment as I was preparing to sleep and nearly beat and  strangled me to death.  Every year that passes since that fateful day, I struggle a bit more to come up with my reflection  This year, the timing was interesting with news of the Colorodo movie theater shooting.  Whenever tragedy like that happens, we hear stories of the victims, we learn about the madman, and speculate on what possibly caused him to snap and in that moment, hurt so so many people.  We hear stories of heroism, of comraderie and bravery in the face of danger.   Out of all of the stories that came out of that shooting, the one that has stuck with me the most has been an account of the shooting from a person in the theater. That random account so accurately reflected something I experienced while facing a life and death situation and which is why, despite the scars the attack left, I am so grateful to have experienced it so early in life. 

In the moment of fear, in the moment when all of the hate and evil of one man came to fruition to cause so much pain, the individual talks about the intense feelings of love he felt while dodging bullets.    I get it. I get it exactly.   Over time, I remember fewer details of the day.  The man's face has faded.  I don't remember how it feels to be strangled, I do not have visceral reactions any longer upon entering my home after dark, and  I do not remember the physical pain caused by the injuries he caused.  What I continue to think about, every day of my life, when that day comes into my thinking (and it always does), was the love I felt when I succombed to dying.  It really really is the oddest thing.  Confusion over what was happening dominated my thoughts at first when that man, that monster appeared at my window.  Fear over getting out alive, fear about dying, dominated my thoughts when I realized that despite every kick to the balls I could give him, I was not getting away.  And one would expect that when this type of tragic event strikes, that fear and sadness would accompany one to the very end, until the moments of their last breath.  But it doesn't.  When you look eviil so close in the eye, when you are the recipient of such hurt and pain, the exact opposite is felt---you feel an overwhelming sense of love.  One would not expect that as you are being strangled, or pummelted with strikes to your brain that you could possibly feel love.  But you do.  Because, on the 7th year anniversary of my survival of an event that will live with me forever, I can tell you all with confidence, love is all we have---love for ourselves, love from our family, from friends and from life itself. The feeling of love was so intense in the moment when I gave up my fear of death in the face of it, that I think it has driven my recovery and resilence to this day.  It has caused me to not sweat the small stuff, to focus on the good in people,  to surround myself with love and to give more deeply to others.  

 I was given a gift and what I know to be true is that  life will all present each of us with tragedy at some time or another.  How will you use that gift? How will you honor the lesson? Whatever it is,  I know that the message of love will dominate.

~Winter, Washington DC