The Longest 18 Inches on the Planet.

March 19, 2020

The Longest 18 Inches on the Planet.

May 29, 2023

Is it true that as we age, we develop a smarter heart and a more passionate brain? There is growing social science research that suggests our EQ may increase with age and lead to higher levels of subjective well-being in midlife and later. Science aside, I couldn’t agree more.

While it may be hard to master a foreign language as we get older, I believe we become more fluent in the separate dialects of the head and the heart, two organs separated by just a foot and a half. And while these 18 inches may feel like two distant islands when we’re young, by the time we reach midlife, the wiser part of who we are can slowly feel the two coming together in a tango dance that celebrates life. God knows, we need to become a Milonguero (a tango dancer) these days. Fight, flight or freeze are the natural responses to fear, but maybe it’s time to dance.

Here’s my attempt at a little poem that honors these two H-words that define our Humanity (getting very liminal posting this the day after poet Mark Nepo posted his eloquence on Wisdom Well).

The Head and Heart Tango

Heart is hot, head is cool,
Naturally unsuited for dance school.
Tried foxtrot, hustle, and stately waltz,
But all of them felt utterly false.

The head erect, serene, and cool
Was set aloft to guide and rule.
The throbbing, wayward, lonely heart
That felt so often torn apart.

Then the tune changed today,
Dance floor calling them to play.
Head escorts heart with a new rhythm
To heal this ever-lasting schism.

When we forget our fumbling, bumbling feet,
Feel the magic and hear the soulful beat,
Somewhere in the passionate ebb and flow
Our head and heart transform into tango.

Our rhythm begins to coincide
With a natural step-and-glide.
When heart surrender to head’s lead
And head cherishes and serves heart’s need.

These dance partners are new to this.
Head and heart are full of bliss.
What was once entangled is now entwined.
If only we could teach this step to mankind.

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