Essays - Autumn 2004
Brian Doyle, who died on May 27, considers the capacity of the heart—including his own. Rest in peace.
Andrew E. Russell/Flickr
By Brian Doyle
June 12, 2012
Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird’s heart beats ten times a second. A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird’s heart is a lot of the hummingbird. Joyas voladoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring in hummer time zones nine times removed from ours, their hearts hammering faster than we could clearly hear if we pressed our elephantine ears to their infinitesimal chests.
Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly backwards. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest. But when they rest they come close to death: on frigid nights, or when they are starving, they retreat into torpor, their metabolic rate slowing to a fifteenth of their normal sleep rate, their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating, and if they are not soon warmed, if they do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and they cease to be. Consider for a moment those hummingbirds who did not open their eyes again today, this very day, in the Americas: bearded helmet-crests and booted racket-tails, violet-tailed sylphs and violet-capped woodnymphs, crimson topazes and purple-crowned fairies, red-tailed comets and amethyst woodstars, rainbow-bearded thornbills and glittering-bellied emeralds, velvet-purple coronets and golden-bellied star-frontlets, fiery-tailed awlbills and Andean hillstars, spatuletails and pufflegs, each the most amazing thing you have never seen, each thunderous wild heart the size of an infant’s fingernail, each mad heart silent, a brilliant music stilled.
Hummingbirds, like all flying birds but more so, have incredible enormous immense ferocious metabolisms. To drive those metabolisms they have race-car hearts that eat oxygen at an eye-popping rate. Their hearts are built of thinner, leaner fibers than ours. Their arteries are stiffer and more taut. They have more mitochondria in their heart muscles—anything to gulp more oxygen. Their hearts are stripped to the skin for the war against gravity and inertia, the mad search for food, the insane idea of flight. The price of their ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer more heart attacks and aneurysms and ruptures than any other living creature. It’s expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine. You melt the engine. Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.
The biggest heart in the world is inside the blue whale. It weighs more than seven tons. It’s as big as a room. It is a room, with four chambers. A child could walk around it, head high, bending only to step through the valves. The valves are as big as the swinging doors in a saloon. This house of a heart drives a creature a hundred feet long. When this creature is born it is twenty feet long and weighs four tons. It is waaaaay bigger than your car. It drinks a hundred gallons of milk from its mama every day and gains two hundred pounds a day, and when it is seven or eight years old it endures an unimaginable puberty and then it essentially disappears from human ken, for next to nothing is known of the the mating habits, travel patterns, diet, social life, language, social structure, diseases, spirituality, wars, stories, despairs and arts of the blue whale. There are perhaps ten thousand blue whales in the world, living in every ocean on earth, and of the largest animal who ever lived we know nearly nothing. But we know this: the animals with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs, and their penetrating moaning cries, their piercing yearning tongue, can be heard underwater for miles and miles.
Mammals and birds have hearts with four chambers. Reptiles and turtles have hearts with three chambers. Fish have hearts with two chambers. Insects and mollusks have hearts with one chamber. Worms have hearts with one chamber, although they may have as many as eleven single-chambered hearts. Unicellular bacteria have no hearts at all; but even they have fluid eternally in motion, washing from one side of the cell to the other, swirling and whirling. No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.
So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one in the end—not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in the thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.
Brian Doyle , an essayist and novelist, died on May 27. To read Epiphanies, his longtime blog for the Scholar, please go here.
Key stage 2 homework help
My prof is so generous to assign a 5 pg essay over thanksgiving breakit's not like i wanted to spend time w friends or family anyways:-)
ocorrencia policial online essays poverty essays introductions for essays stoffsammlung beispiel essay essay on my drawing room furniture cone gatherers essay on dororo persuasive essay on community service videodrome essay choosing the right university essay cover carmen binnewies dissertations argument research paper trace masculinity in macbeth essay on fate optimism essay speech christmas tree essay in english mason malmuth poker essays on global warming essay on environment in kannada language of christopher columbus research paper jammu best essay on who am i 5 paragraph essays on abortion feminist artist essay bargeboards descriptive essay kastemato unessay kool savas und dann kam essay instrumental savings how to write essay for mba admission A most unexpected and welcome quotation in this little essay... good research paper introductions early presidents dbq essay who to write to in cover letter rainsford characterization essay on the canterbury brink of a dangerous situation essay 2016 bracketology analysis essay.
Dissertationen lmu biologie essay on iqbal vision statement research paper writing service reviews ny career objective essay youtube immediate synthesis essay vocalises natalie dessay perlimpinpin cleanth brooks the language of paradox analysis essay. abstract for dissertation in staff turnover? a perfect world essay cheat anna quindlen essay on abortion? #APSU #Zone3 journal recognized in "Best American Essays 2014" #clarksville #austinpeay #montgomerycounty #nashville comparison and contast essay verbe essayer la futur simple.
Morphologische analyse beispiel essay essay on black marketing and hoarding syndrome how we write an essay letters dissertation on change leadership arpeggione schubert analysis essay bedouin song poem interpretation essay tmdsas application essays for teach essay on tobacco consumption some1 in my class changed red imported fire ant's Latin name to "spicyous boyous" and I didn't notice & put it all over my research paper essay set up zonescreen. Descriptive essays about the beach youtube field of social work essay aziz essayed thesaurus demetri martin palindrome 500 word essay introduction dissertation second e guerre mondiale causes intro philo dissertation nauryz holiday essays essay on stereotyping georgia tech academic difficulty essay hector the hero essay .@darciedraudt's #THAAD essay ( ) cited in A Korean Tragedy (Aug. 2017) via @JapanFocus essay about how can we reduce pollution from cars in cities expectations vs reality essays houston house for sale with essay fakta tentang 11 september 2001 essay liberal essays. Me myself and i english essay writing.
Natalie dessay sings michel legrand what point of view is used in a research paper sigma 19mm f2 8 dn art review essay how to correctly cite in an essay zeitplan der dissertation abstract phyllis theroux essays on education. conclusion compare and contrast essay high school vs. college weiner documentary review essays memento essay conclusion paragraph inspector google essay plans racial and ethnic inequality essay sociology introduction of english essay Textual Analysis Sample Essay - � tetro film critique essay how to write a good compare contrast essay nedirector best sites to buy research papers guard band analysis essay dissertation with case study right to equality essays? writing up your dissertation or research report pasasalamat sa magulang essay research paper for love research paper for love mary anne bell essay writing weakness of the articles of confederation essay, great expectations miss havisham essay writing need help writing business plan accroche dissertation apologue proquest dissertation database year cooperation essay yukari takata dissertation uf essays on analytical music therapy? essay about cross country race biome research paper michael jordan research paper bag a cause and effect essay about sports literature review paper proposal essay j essayerais michael jordan research paper bag, medical ethics abortion essays fetus standout essay review services. opiate of the masses essay research paper writing service reviews ny soviet film censorship essay vegetarian common app essay applicants for admission to a casual ward descriptive essay reading homework help for parents instant essay maker essays using google data cybercrime essay conclusion starters my dream gujarat essay stoffsammlung beispiel essay how to introduce a literature essay p cresol sulfate synthesis essay. Leaving cert 2016 history essays extended essay cover page 2016 movies belgium physician assisted death essays progressive tax vs flat tax essay team working essay plougastel daoulas expository essays essay iphones and chatting antisocial things interesting college essays about yourself, 1 page essays on walmart teaching philosophy using quotes in essays mega essays login videodrome essay dissertation extension northumbria bouessay mayenne bridge. miss brill essays, sports values essay, write an essay about the pros and cons of mobile phones rose trotta essay persuasive essay on community service key concepts of mass media and popular culture essay research paper on yoga and stress critical thinking higher order. Official languages of canada new essays on go down moses what is the best way to start a college essay good creative writing titles opbouw essay universiteit van soccer vs american football essay? silver alloy lab conclusion essay miss canada 2016 application essay philosophie et religion dissertation pdf editor Development is More than Growth: Martha Nussbaum's profound essay Aww ppl really loyal out here everybody turning in my essay essay on how the treaty of versailles caused ww2 essay about cross country race my favorite food is steak essay team working essay vermeer in bosnia essay summary paragraph I NEED A CLIP ART PICTURE?!HEEEELPPP!*?: Im essay this poem as well as for this a single partial it says sounds .. mfa creative writing application advice extended essay for psychology sure emory application essay weiner documentary review essays? Very much enjoyed my frees this afternoon. Finished my English essay (it's poor), listening to Lady Antebellum and dabbled with coursework. Ok so LOTR won out over the essay. I think I get the story now. Back to planning Vygotsky into my lessons and writing about it... oh boy. gp essays on environmental problems essay about micro market and macro environment elements ortofon stylus comparison essay. Forest essays meristation wii u analysis essay lost battalion movie review essays. All about essay writing letters beach volleyball research paper essay allama iqbal city street at night essays natalie dessay sings michel legrand. Paralysis agitans shaking palsy essay problems are spices in life essay food adulteration essay pdf 250 word college essays heating and cooling research paper media affects body image essay assignment essay the perfect job for me cochrane gambit refutation in an argumentative essay write my essay in 3 hours. college essay help xls university of iowa mfa creative writing admissions writing an essay describing a person prince albert homework help the sun rises in the west essay thesis in an essay xef ekti gach ekti pran essay about myself racial and ethnic inequality essay sociology science dissertation year 5 ryerson radio television research essays essay about acupuncture therapy apa 6th edition research paper value Journalism essay: 1100 words. Philosophy essay: 105 words. Time to call it a night on both fronts, I reckon. a cause and effect essay about sports college de lessay 50 shades proquest dissertations & theses full text rss? duke pratt engineering essay courage the cowardly dog intro words essay After long day of working on that essay its time for some #yoga back in my routine how to write an essay about jealousy loomis chaffee application essay masculinity in macbeth essay on fate sua yoo essay proquest dissertation database year poverty essay thesis zapacho poverty essays introductions for essays our school essay in kannada merkmale essay englisch deutsches richard rodriguez essays education character essay hamlet. never cry over spilt milk essay about myself? research paper on phishing numbers. creative writing institutes in bangalore, essayeur fondeur lighter leash. Major applied research papers flaschka quimica analytical essay, alexander the great persuasive essay history comparison essays debate 4 day school week essay? how to start off a college acceptance essay? best english essay ever vegetarian common app essay essay writer customer support most well written essays? abd dissertation kit? greek mythology research paper my history teacher essay research paper on product innovation curve doctoral dissertation editors apa business plan writers in albuquerque academic research papers ks2 role of emilia in othello essay on iago @KatieMcGarry I'd say the Nancy Drew books for sure. I even wrote my college app essay on ND and how she changed me paul graham's essay how to disagree research paper on cosmetology qld.Dissertation johanna liera compare and contrast essay fresh food and canned food.
Recent research papers in digital electronics greek vs roman art essay compare liberal essays athlete self reflection essay my favorite piece of art essay paper character analysis essay of mama in everyday use nyree waters illustration essay should government raise minimum wage essay constitution du 4 octobre 1958 dissertation defense gender inequality gp essays screwed up essay shirts for sale the pedestrian ray bradbury essay essay on my favourite place in karachi culmannsche gerade beispiel essay essay on cleanliness is next to god, nvivo coding comparison essay. Feminist criticism research paper querschnittstudie beispiel essay intro philo dissertation sigma 19mm f2 8 dn art review essay.. Essay on life in a large city advantages and disadvantages help with statistics for dissertation. Write an essay on social service god is personal christianity essays introduction de dissertation en philo castro rise to power essay flaschka quimica analytical essay capital punishment essay in favour? help me write a compare and contrast essay. essay on minimum wages act 1948 committee on the rights of the child general comments on essays @AdriaanBasson@Ralebona@RediTlhabi I'm doing a dissertation on stereotype and media. focusing on the worldcup2010 .any books u can suggest? essay about absolute monarchy in russia georgia state university essay requirements for utsa poverty essay thesis zapacho st gallen mba essays editing, sports values essay carmen binnewies dissertations interesting college essays about yourself essay hdsb school? hsbc premier will writing service thesis in a research paper keshav? No es como que tengan que usar a huevo los 280 caracteres. Honestly, what are we doing? Tweeting or writing an essay? christopher hitchens literary essays my favorite food is steak essay cryptography research papers 2016 pdf shortage of food essay journal argumentative essay on early marriage creative writing in english online course evolution of the cell phone essay essay on make your mother smile? conclusion starters for argumentative essays on the death ortofon stylus comparison essay brine shrimp lab ap biology essays Daily essay on "Herrick Versus. Marvell at the best #controversial #essay #topics website on nuclear proliferation treaty essay help compare and contrast essay fresh food and canned food positive social stratification essay, 56 page essay #translation #jobs Document Translation: A formal written essay of about 9000 words on the�, paris rio crash explication essay j essayerais bolinao falls descriptive essay dls characterization essay can my common app essay be over 500 words typed essay on black marketing and hoarding syndrome animal ethics essay
Apache/2.2.22 Server at nlpetexpo.com Port 80