February 2 – Two Heart Cells Beating – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“If you place two living heart cells from different people in a Petrie dish, they will in time find and maintain a third and common beat.” Molly Vass

This biological fact holds the secret of all relationship. It is cellular proof that beneath any resistance we might pose and beyond all our attempts that fall short, there is in the very nature of life itself some essential joining force.  This inborn ability to find and enliven a common beat is the miracle of love.

This force is what makes compassion possible, even probable. For if two cells can find the common pulse beneath everything, how much more can full hearts feel when all excuses fall away?

This drive towards a common beat is the force beneath curiosity and passion. It is what makes strangers talk to strangers, despite the discomfort.  It is how we risk new knowledge. For being still enough, long enough, next to anything living, we find a way to sing the one voiceless song.

Yet we often tire ourselves by fighting how our hearts want to join, seldom realizing that both strength and peace come from our hearts beating in unison with all that is alive.  It feels incredibly uplifting that without even knowing each other, there exists a common beat between all hearts, just waiting to be felt.

It brings to mind the time that the great poet Pablo Neruda, near the end of his life, stopped while travelling at the Lota coal mine in rural Chile.  He stood there stunned, as a miner, rough and blackened by his work inside the earth, strode straight for Neruda, embraced him, and said, “I have known you a long time, my brother.”

Perhaps this is the secret – that every time we dare to voice what beats within, we invite some other cell of heart to find what lives between us and sing.

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