Monday, September 25, 2006

Heart Of The Matter

J, as has been noted before is predisposed towards hearts. They dominate her art work, beginning attempts at composition i.e. "I "heart" Miss Christinia and Mommy" and her thoughts. It probably started a year ago when my father had an unexpected heart attack - in the five years of her worldly existence she never saw me quite as distraught. I had at the time by weirdest coincidence met someone who had attended med school but was now in the business of peddling cardiac drugs.

She must have overheard us discussing my dad's situation and the slew of medical jargon that went along with it and perhaps understood what had happened could have been life threatening. Every morning she included "Please make my grandpa well soon" in her prayers which God was kind enough to do. The crisis ended and life turned normal again. J asked me endless questions about the function of the heart and could not have enough of an animated tour of it that I had found for her. We have not seen it in a while and I assumed J had moved on to other things.

This morning she said "Mommy, guess what the heart in your body is an American heart" I did not know what to make of that observation. "What makes you say so ?" I asked . "Because it is red and blue just like colors of the American flag" she replied.

Trust a child to make connections where they don't exist and make you ponder about it. Extending that logic the whole world has "an American heart" and that could be a good explanation (as any other) for the pervasiveness of American culture and for this country being a nation of nations. Whoever, first decided to use red and blue to represent oxygenated and deoxygenated blood was most likely not making any connection (subliminal or otherwise) to a flag.

I have since shown J flags of other countries that use the same three colors and she no longer thinks that America has a hegemony over the human heart.

No comments: