A new heart
That body which I’ve seen gaping before me, the chest open, without a breath and without a pulse, the heart cut out before being replaced, I saw it again eight days later, well recovered and resolute in front of its meal. In the “OR,” I was right next to the surgeon, and the impression I had of it all took some time to reemerge in the form of a meditation on the relationships between the physical body and that not-so-mythical heart which ranges from the organ of love to the “heart of stone” by way of the “heart of the subject.” Then my encounters with doctors and patients, with transplant recipients and those with weak hearts, plunged me back into the ever new confusion between the body and technology, the body and the mind, but also into the profusion of life and its irregularity. On my journey I discovered that the heart is not only a pump, and that emotional impulses, not truly regular, make it live and sustain us at least as much as does its regular beating.
How can one find the words and enable a relevant discourse in this concrete context where the body-mind unit, activated by the heart, is so vital? That is what is attempted in this book, and it enlightens other contexts in which the irreparable is being fought; knowing that we other humans, facing insufficiency, will always have not only a heart-machine, but an existential heart, as well.