Some of the heartfelts we have received have been about the actual process of making the hearts themselves: some people seem to have really enjoyed the creation of something physical, perhaps because generally people do not have time to make things. Perhaps we all need to take some time out of our busy lives to sit down with paper and glue, and really put some effort into making something with our hands.
“I would like my creativity to grow into paid work and for me to trust the process. I would like work to become more project-based and I’d like to feel happier and more alive and feel more integrated in my community.”
“Your project brought back memories of the many valentines cards my husband and I made and bought each other. I kept some of them, but right now cannot remember where i put them.”
“The sun’s shining, there’s music playing and I feel so much better for making this heart- there’s so much in it.
It’s so much more than a heart.”
The idea of the heartfelt project is to think of a moment in your life, that, for whatever reason, was particularly powerful and ‘heart felt’. For some, it is a moment from years ago, in childhood, when something happened that they have never been able to forget; for others, it is just a sudden thought that hits from seemingly nowhere, and perhaps makes them think differently for the rest of their life. Here are some of the anecdotal heartfelts we have received.
“I was thinking about how people unwittingly share in and intertwine in others’ lives. How we are often, almost unconsciously, touched by others and how that shapes us in becoming human. The moments can be as transitory as a smile from a stranger, or it could be a lasting refrain that speaks to us in friendship and love. However it comes, it is priceless.”
“I love it when I get something from the treat box.”
“This is for all the boys at the Duke of York School in Nairobi in 1956, who named me ‘Belle of the Ball’ at the annual inter-school 6th form dance. Who would have thought this astonishing event could have launched a painfully shy, plain girl on her first shaky step towards a degree of self-confidence. Perhaps the home-made dress and carefully pin-curled hair had something to do with it! Thanks boys.”
Last week, a group of 20 girls aged between 10 and 14 made hearts, with their happy memories written on them. Some of their memories were lovely, and they all got very creative, making the hearts in any size, shape, style they wanted. A huge amount of glitter, paper, paint, sticking, glueing and drawing was involved: here are a selection of the final results.
“The moment I realized that your ‘imperfections’ are what make you SPECIAL.”
“My heart represents :
Times in Markeaton Park with my Grampa (who I liked to call Barry). I was about six and bought me a lager and lime ice lolly and told me not to get drunk. It wasn’t the best joke but I wish I could hear it again…”
Some of the hearts we have received focus on one particular individual, often as a memorial or tribute to them, because they are special to the person who has made the heart. How the person is portrayed in these hearts is diverse but very touching- I wonder how many of them know they are the subject of a Heartfelt Moment?!
“This is for Anthony, with whom I fell silently and hopelessly in love at the age of eight, but who only had eyes for Veronica, a fat, waddling girl with dark hair who brought Licquorice Allsorts to school to hide in his desk.”
“Pop was my paternal grandfather. He was a Welsh miner with a wicked sense of fun, who grew wonderful dahlias in his garden and vegetables on his allotment. My parents, my brother and I lived with my grandparents, and when my father died when I was five Pop said ‘they’re my children now,’ and he cared for us as if we were. However his years down the mines ruined his health and at 67, when I was 10, he was hospitalised with pneumoconiosis which induced tuberculosis. As a result my brother and I were not allowed to visit him. He died without us ever seeing him again.”
“How my heart felt when my sister sent her heart felt on my seventy fifth birthday. If I searched the world, I could never find a better sister. You are a perfect example of sisterly loving and caring and compassion and concern. Just talking to you can make me feel better, and being with you reminds me of the most important things in my life. Knowing that I have a sister like you is a gift of family and friendship wrapped up in love!”
Some of the stories on the hearts are very touching, because they are secret tales which the author has never shared before- perhaps because they are very personal, or because they go against the accepted, socially correct response to a certain event. To reveal the truth and go against the grain is very brave.
“The pilot and I were briefed to fly out to the West over the Indian Ocean to find and report on an alleged hurricane. The flight started badly. I was not familiar with the aircraft and had not set the compass correctly. As a result we flew off in the wrong direction! Soon we were heading in the right direction and I could already see the echo of the storm’s centre on the radar. We flew at 3000 feet into the eye of the hurricane, and the pilot was reporting back to the carrier, ‘Tremendous, confused seas.’ Suddenly the radar screen went black, the engine noise died and the aircraft’s nose dipped. I knew immediately that we would not stand a chance in the boiling maelstrom sea below. In those few seconds I thought of my lovely wife and two children, one I had only seen for ten minutes during a mail run. Then the engine coughed, spluttered and finally roared back into life. The radar screen revived. The pilot had run a petrol tank dry and then switched to another tank. We returned to the carrier chastened.”
“45 years ago when I had my first child I was so naive that I didn’t every think about my baby being anything but perfect. However, working with physically handicapped children several of whom were the second born child of twins left me in no doubt of the many things that could go wrong. So when my daughter told me that she was pregnant with my first grandchild I was worried until my grandson was born without problems- then like all grandmas my joy knew no bounds.
Two years later when my daughter told me she was again pregnant I was so happy but then when her first scan showed she was expecting twins my joy turned to horror and fear which I hoped that I concealed. Thankfully all of my worried proved to be unfounded and I count myself to be so lucky to be able to enjoy two beautiful granddaughters along with my grandson.”
“After 28 years of supressing rage and bottling up thwarted desires, I find myself suddenly adrift. I have fought for this time, this freedom, and now I don’t know what to do with it. Can’t retrieve the ambitions that I held so strongly because I buried them too deeply over time. I have become so used to the dull ache and inertia of depression that I can’t find the spark I need to re-energise myself. So used to the frustration and derision that I dare not trust my goals- won’t give them commitment in case they fail. And so I fill my life with ‘vital’ chores and helpfulness, taking on other people’s angst and responsibilities so that I don’t have to face my own.”
“I have come to dread visiting my mother. We have always shared a very close and loving relationship until dementia took her away from me. Communicating with each other is so difficult now that her hearing and memory are so poor. She has no interests- no longer wants to listen to music or the radio, read or watch T.V. I can do nothing to improve her life except keep visiting as I know that alone brings her pleasure.” - to see more work by Heather, visit her blog here.